Mindful eating is learning to pay attention. Instead of eating mindlessly, putting food into your mouth almost unconsciously, not really tasting the food you’re eating … you notice your thoughts, feelings, and sensations and the body has time to absorb the food using the correct chemistry to do so.
Mindful Eating Helps You learn to pay attention to:
- Why you feel like eating, and what emotions or needs might be triggering the eating.
- What you’re eating, and whether it is healthy or not.
- The look, smell, taste, feel of the food you’re eating.
- How it makes you feel as you taste it, as you digest it, and throughout the day.
- How full (or sated) you are before, during and after eating.
- Your emotions during and after eating.
- Where the food came from, who might have grown it, how much it might have suffered before it was killed, whether it was grown organically, how much it was processed, how much it was fried or overcooked, etc.
- You learn to eat when you’re hungry, and stop when you’re sated.
- You learn to really taste food, and to enjoy the taste of healthy food.
- You slowly start to realise that unhealthy food isn’t as tasty as you thought, nor does it make you feel very good.
- Learning these points will often lead to weight lose if you need to lose weight.
- You begin to sort through the emotional issues you have around food and eating.
- Social overeating can become less of a problem — you can eat mindfully while socialising, with practice, and not overeat.
- You begin to enjoy the eating experience more, and as a result enjoy life more, when you’re more present.
- You learn how food affects your mood and energy throughout the day.
- You learn what food best fuels your exercise and work and play.
Mindful eating is a powerful practice that can offer you many benefits. It is not another quick-fix to help you “lose weight within 7 days” but it will help you with binge eating and cravings that many people get. Mindful eating does help improve your relationship with food. You may also discover more about yourself and even about your life as you practice throughout the day not just when eating.