Eating is an essential and pleasurable activity for nourishing our body + mind and satisfying our hunger.
Mindful eating involves eating with attention and intention. In our busy lives and lack of time, eating can often be mindless, convenient and done on the run or whilst multi-tasking which can often lead to poor food choices. Mindful eating is not a diet and does not come with recipes, but is the simple commitment to appreciating, respecting and enjoying the food you consume every day.
Examples of Mindless eating:
- Emotional eating; eating when you are bored, stressed or anxious rather than hungry
- Grazing on food without actually tasting it
- Mindlessly snacking
- Eating at the same time each day whether you are hungry or not
- Eating until you are too full and feel sick
- Skipping meals from not paying attention to your hunger
Benefits of Mindful Eating:
- Enables us to make better food choices
- Decreases stress which as a result reduces emotional eating
- Can heal a wide range of eating issues
- Better in tune with your body
- Helps limit binge eating
- Helps manage weight without being restrictive
- Allows food choices that will be enjoyed and nourished
- Really paying attention to all the different tastes in food
Below are some practical tips to encourage mindful eating:
It is beneficial to our health to eat our food slower and remember that it is not a race. Taking the time to savour and enjoy the food you are consuming can be as healthy as the food you are eating! Eating our food slower helps us to notice when we are full, allows us to properly chew our food therefore digesting it better as well as being able to notice flavours and textures making meals more enjoyable.
TECHNOLOGY FREE ZONE:
It is not uncommon for families or individuals to eat in front of the TV or for one or all members of the family to be on their mobile phone or taking calls through the mealtime. Consider making meal times an electronic free time where meals are spent interacting with one another. Make eating pizza in front of a movie a conscious choice that marks an exception rather than a norm.
Mindful eating is the practice of paying attention to the details of our food the crunch of an apple, the tanginess of a lemon or the softness of fresh bread. If we scoff our meal in five minutes it can be hard to notice what you have just consumed. Pay attention to the flavours and savour the different sensations while you are eating.
KNOW YOUR FOOD:
Mindful eating allows us to build a healthy relationship and an appreciation for our food. Whether it be saying grace or giving thanks before a meal or simply acknowledging the farm it was planted in, the bakery the bread was baked in or the many hands that have brought it here will gain a deeper appreciation for your food and notice your shopping habits change in the process as well.