Mindful eating is the practice of becoming more aware of your food choices and the way you eat. It can help you to become more in tune with your body’s hunger signals, become more aware of the pleasure and satisfaction that comes from eating, and to become more mindful of how food affects your body. Some of the potential benefits of mindful eating include:
- Eating more slowly and savoring each bite: Mindful eating helps to slow down your eating and can help you to pay attention to the flavors and textures of your food. Eating more slowly allows your body to feel full and can help to prevent overeating.
- Becoming more aware of your body’s hunger cues: Mindful eating can help you to become more aware of the physical signals your body sends when you’re feeling hungry, such as stomach rumbling or feeling lightheaded. It can also help you to recognize when you’re full and no longer need to eat.
- Eating more nutritious foods: Mindful eating can help you to pay more attention to what you’re eating, which can help you to make healthier food choices. Eating a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutritious foods can help to improve your overall health and wellbeing.
- Improved digestion: Being mindful while eating can help people tune into their body’s signals, allowing them to eat more slowly and chew food thoroughly, which can aid in digestion.
- Improving your relationship with food: Mindful eating can help to reduce feelings of guilt or shame that may be associated with eating certain foods. It can also help to foster appreciation and gratitude for the food you’re eating.
- Stress reduction: The act of being present and mindful during meals can reduce stress and promote relaxation.
- Enhanced enjoyment of food: Mindful eating can help people appreciate food more, leading to a more satisfying and enjoyable eating experience
It’s important to note that while mindful eating can be a helpful tool for weight loss, it is not a weight-loss program in and of itself. A balanced diet and regular physical activity are also crucial for sustainable weight loss.
Learning Mindful Eating
Starting mindful eating is a simple and gradual process that involves paying attention to the experience of eating. Here are some tips to get started:
- Remove distractions: Find a quiet and peaceful place to eat and turn off all distractions, such as the TV or phone.
- Slow down: Take your time eating and savor each bite. Chew food thoroughly and put your fork down between bites.
- Pay attention to physical hunger cues: Before starting a meal, check in with your body and ask yourself if you are actually hungry. During the meal, pay attention to physical sensations of fullness.
- Focus on the sensory experience: Pay attention to the taste, smell, and texture of your food.
- Avoid multitasking: Avoid reading, working, or checking your phone while eating.
- Practice gratitude: Take a moment to reflect on the effort and resources that went into making the food you are eating, and express gratitude for having access to it.
Start with one meal a day and gradually increase the number of mindful eating meals as you get more comfortable with the practice. The goal is to develop a more mindful and intentional relationship with food, rather than trying to change your eating habits overnight
Five questions to ask BEFORE EATING
- What is my level of hunger?
- Will this nourish by body?
- How will I feel after eating this?
- Do I truly want this?
- Am I fully present to eat and enjoy my meal?
Five questions to ask AFTER EATING
- What are my hunger levels now?
- How full do I feel?
- Did I get the nourishment I need?
- Did I delight my taste buds?
- Has the meal kept me energised and full?