Food. We all love it. It is a healthy, pleasurable necessity that satisfies hunger and fuels our bodies. But what happens when we find ourselves eating for the wrong reasons. In our food abundant, diet-obsessed society, it is easy to get consumed by mindless, guilt-induced eating habits more often than we like to admit. For that reason, I like to encourage clients to practice mindful eating. Today’s mini challenge is going to focus on what mindful eating is and how you can start applying it to your life.
What is Mindful Eating?
- Mindful eating is an ancient practice that can be used in our modern day society to help banish our love/hate relationship with food.
- It requires you to eat with intention. Specifically the intention of caring for yourself.
- It requires you to to eat with attention. Attention to the foods you are eating and its effect on the body
Although mindful eating incorporates eating slow and enjoying your food, it dives much deeper than that. The goal is to address the entire process of eating.
Many people that struggle with food often find themselves reacting mindlessly to hunger cues. For example, you’re watching TV and suddenly out of boredom, you feel as though you have to eat. Being mindful allows for you to be more aware of your specific needs. It gives you a change to learn how to have a healthier relationship with food instead of indulging in foods you do not actually need.
With the power of mindful eating you can ultimately transform your relationship with food through several different avenues:
- Awareness of emotional and physical eating cues
- Awareness of false hunger cues (eating out of boredom)
- Learning to calm these desires through alternative sources other than food
- Choosing foods that are enjoyable and satisfy hunger
- Using the food as a fuel source to live a more energetic life
So next time you eat, turn off the TV, put down your phone, and really focus on every bite you take. Savor and truly enjoy every bite you take. Incorporating small, mindful practices such as those discussed today is only going to help grow the new lifestyle we have created through flexible dieting.