The Next Time You’re Hungry, Do This… (8 Ayurveda Eating Tips)

Woman Eating Salad

This science of life teaches us many things: How to drink water mindfully, how to exercise thoughtfully, how to eat consciously… But what’s there to teach? Drinking, exercising, and eating seem self-explanatory—eating especially. I mean, we have been eating our entire lives after all. All you need is your appetite and an overflowing plate of food followed by a huge slice of chocolate lava cake, right? Wrong.

And even if you have adopted a healthy-eating lifestyle (GMO-free, organic, little-to-no processed foods, more greens, less meat, etc.), there are still some crucial elements missing. However, kudos to you if you’re health conscious.

“When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use.
When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.”

-Ayurvedic Proverb


What Is Ayurveda Exactly?

It’s a traditional Hindu system of medicine which is based on bodily balance, diet, herbal treatment, and yogic breathing. In Sanskrit… “āyus” = life and “veda” = science. So Ayurveda is The Science of Life!Fruit and Vegetables Picture

Before I get into the actual tips, in Ayurveda and many other practices, eating is all about optimal prana absorption. Prana is the Sanskrit word for life energy or life-giving force.

The point of eating is to nourish oneself. While eating a bowl of salad is well-meaning, absorbing its nutrients is just as important.

So let’s begin, shall we?

 1  Happy Environment, Happy Belly

Make your eating environment, a calm and quiet eating one. Be sure you sit down and not eat while standing. Sure, being in a hurry from time to time is a part of life, but more often than not, make eating a meditation of sorts.

During this sacred time, leave your phone in the other room, don’t watch your favorite show—put your full attention into the activity at hand. After your meal, sit for a few more moments before moving on to a different activity. Some say to walk off the calories, but that could wait. Your stomach digests best when the body is sitting up straight.

 2  Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold

Just like temperature matters when it comes to drinking water, so does the temperature of your food. You don’t want to eat your baked potato the second it gets out of the oven and you don’t want to be eating your left-over stir fry straight out of the fridge.

Simply put: Eat your food when it’s warm. Needless to say, if you have to blow on it or if you get brain freeze biting into it, then it isn’t warm.

[Related Post: The Next Time You’re Thirsty, Do This… (Ayurveda Drinking Tips)]

 3  Chew, Chew, & Chew Some More

Another way to help your digestive system a great deal is to chew your food Some say to chew your food—any food 32 times because we have 32 teeth. Can you imagine trying to eat a soft food (like mashed sweet potatoes) that many times? It really depends. Meat requires more chewing (about 20 to 30 times), whereas something like peas requires a little less (5 to 10 times). [1]

 4  Fresh Food Is the Best Food

Leftovers aren’t disastrous to our health or anything, but the nutritional value does get diminished. Try eating a freshly-cooked meal as often as possible. I get that many of us lead busy lifestyles so that just isn’t possible all the time.

 5  Quantity AND Quality

And by quantity, I don’t mean to overeat—I mean eat enough so you feel satisfied, but have just enough room in your stomach to not feel bloated. Please don’t think under-eating is the solution either. Balance is the keyword here. Also, leave some time in between meals. Just because you woke up late and ate breakfast at 11:30am, doesn’t mean you should start eating lunch 30 minutes later.

 6  Only Eat When Hungry

Sometimes we eat—not because we’re hungry, but because we’re bored, feel emotionally distressed, or simply have “the munchies.” Just like you should only drink water when you’re thirsty, you should only be eating when you’re hungry. Your body knows best.

 7  Distress Is the Digestive Tract’s Mortal Enemy

Back to feeling emotionally distressed… Never ever eat when you’re upset. Try to calm yourself before eating. I know we’ve all heard of the negative impact stress has on our health. Eating your dinner while you’re crying or extremely angry is a recipe for disaster. When the body is under stress, it releases all sorts of unwanted secretions, which ultimately puts a damper on our digesting function.

However, I know it’s not always that easy. There’s actually a behavioral issue called emotional eating. That’s when a person is feeling negative emotions like loneliness and attempts to fill an emotional void with food. [2]

 8  Routine Is a Very Good Thing

Routine may also seem monotonous to most, but to your stomach and body, it’s the best possible thing. Try your very best to eat at about the same time each day. If you have an unstable work schedule, make sure you carry healthy, whole-food snacks with you.


Following these Ayurveda-inspired tips will not only make you feel good, but look better over time. According to Women’s Health magazine, “Successfully fit people are successful not because of good luck, birth order, or family heritage but because they have adopted the right habits.” [3] So, adopt these right habits and you’ll see the difference!

Eva Xanthopoulos


Sources
1. “How Many Times Do You Chew Your Food Before Swallowing?”
2.Walden Behavioral Care: Emotional Eating.”
3. “Women’s Health Magazine: Healthy Eating Habits.”


*DISCLAIMER: Always consult a medical professional before applying the advice given throughout this website. While the articles on HMM are thoroughly researched, it is important to speak with your medical provider before starting a new exercise routine or introducing something new to your diet. We ourselves are NOT doctors, so the information we feature should not be used to replace any of your medications or lifestyle choices that have been recommended by your doctor. Read at your own risk and read our full disclaimer here.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Ayurvedic science and medicine is definitely an area of weakness in my studies. Thank you for sharing these helpful tips. I will gradually learn this form of health and balance over time. Any healing art added to a “tool chest” offers benefits when least expected. Great read!

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