In a world where fad diets are glorified yet unsustainable and unhealthy, mindful eating is a refreshing approach to eating that anyone can do. Mindful eating is a form of mindfulness, a Buddhist concept and form of meditation defined as “paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally”.
Mindful eating encourages us to become aware of our thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations related to eating. This is a way of allowing us to truly identify and reconcile hunger and satiety. The overarching goal is to help individuals savor the moment and the food, and be fully present for the eating experience.
When you practice mindful eating you pay attention to how the food makes you feel and what signals your body is sending you about taste, satisfaction, and fullness. You aren’t responsible for anything other than to simply acknowledge and accept the feelings, thoughts, and sensations you observe without judgement. Mindfulness can even extend to your entire process from buying to preparing to serving your food as well as eating it.
How to Practice Mindful Eating
Eating mindfully is about bringing awareness to eating, from the first thought about the food to the final bite. Here are some suggestions that can be used for eating mindfully:
- Take a moment before eating to notice your feelings. Are you stressed, bored, angry, sad, or lonely? Are you physically hungry?
- If you do not feel physically hungry, try to make a choice to do something else rather than eat.
- Put away distractions and focus only on eating.
- Also consider what it took for this food to get to you. Who was involved in the growing process and production? Consider the sun and soil it took to grow the ingredients. Appreciate all of what it took to bring it to your plate.
- Savor each bite. Let your food rest on your tongue. Notice all of your senses. Chew slowly and intentionally.
- After each bite, see how you are feeling. Do you feel full? Do you need more? Is it time to stop? Acknowledge the answer and move on to whatever you have chosen.
The Benefits of Mindful Eating
When you practice mindful eating you may experience some added benefits.
- Better Digestion Food that is chewed more is easier to digest.
- More Nutritious Meals By paying attention to what you are putting into your body, you will probably start to notice which foods make you feel better and which don’t. This will likely guide you to making more nutritious choices for your meals.
- Greater Satisfaction Taking your time to eat means getting to actually notice the flavors and textures of your food, which is much more satisfying than rushing through your meal.
- A Healthier Food Relationship Not only will you be able to better identify when you are full and should stop eating, you will also develop a better appreciation and understanding of your food, where it comes from, and what it takes to get to you.
There are so many benefits to incorporating mindfulness into your life and mindful eating is a great place to begin. If you’d like some more guidance on nutrition, reach out to Angela today at email@example.com.
Hi I'm Angela
I am a Certified Health Coach and the founder of Bee Healthy Coaching. As a mom of 4 and step mom of 3, it is my mission to provide you with the tools, resources, and encouragement needed to overcome obstacles, find balance, and thrive.