Mindful or Mayhem? It’s Time to Assess Your Eating Habits
Your eating habits might have more to do with your heartburn than you think. To reduce acid reflux, Macon residents must start mastering mindfulness.
What did you eat for breakfast this morning? (If you can’t remember, we aren’t off to a good start). Do you tend to eat the same thing every day as you sit in traffic on your way to work? Or are you a spur of the moment eater who grabs leftovers from last night’s dinner, or whatever is in the pantry, or a pastry that strikes your fancy as you grab your morning latte?
Being more aware of what you eat and eliminating all distractions from your plate while you are eating (like turning off the TV or eating in front of a table and not a driving wheel) reduces the likelihood that you will overeat, and overeating is one habit that exacerbates heartburn and acid reflux by adding pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter and stomach.
Practicing mindful eating takes a bit of practice, but once you get the hang of it this method of applying increased restraint and consciousness in your diet can help you eat less and even manage your stress, both factors that can help reduce the frequency and severity of heartburn and acid reflux.
Mindful Eating 101: Getting Started
Take a bite of whatever you have prepared to eat. For the sake of this example we will say it is an apple. As you take a bite of the apple think about all of the flavors and textures in your mouth. Consider if it is sweet, tart or somewhere in between. Was it crunchier than usual? Is it a particularly juicy apple? Think of all of the details you can about the apple you are eating. This will force you to be more aware of the food in your mouth as well as push other pending thoughts out of your mind. After all, despite your best multitasking you can only really think of one thing at a time.
As you chew, do so slowly. Continue to be aware of the taste and textures of the apple as you move the bite around from side to side in your mouth. Take a deep breath and swallow. Allow the bite to fully reach your stomach and exhale deeply before taking another bite.
If you follow this routine with everything you eat you will become more aware of every snack and meal you have, and will be more in tune with your body to determine when you are full or not.