Have you seen the words ‘Mindful Eating’ pop up across social media over the past year? Find out what it really means and how this approach can better your relationship with your body and with food.
The Mindful Eating approach targets our fast paced food and diet obsessed culture. Many of us eat mindlessly, often consuming too much food without a second thought, to then be riddled with guilty feelings after.
Mindful eating is a practice in which we can work to resolve this love-hate relationship with food and get in touch with our body’s cues.
Mindful eating enables you to be aware of nourishing ways to fuel your body, with no restrictions, taboo foods or calorie counting. It’s a chance to relearn physical hunger and satiety cues in order to eat in tune with your body’s needs.
To better describe it, mindful eating is eating with intention and attention.
We can learn to eat slowly, without distraction, and start to notice and enjoy foods.
Mindful eating can help to:
- Be aware of the body’s physical and emotional signs
- Recognise non-hungry eating triggers
- Discover other ways to meet your needs other than eating
- Choosing food for both enjoyment and nourishment
- Eating for optimal satisfaction and satiety
(Am I Hungry?, 2015)
Practicing some of these strategies everyday can help to build a positive and healthier relationship with food and eating.
One tip that has stuck with me is stopping for a second whenever I feel like eating to ask myself if I’m actually hungry.Being in touch with your mind and body enables you to respond thoughtfully rather than on auto-pilot. Using this strategy has made me realise how many times I eat without actually being hungry, but rather due to being bored, stressed or eating by the clock.
The Mindful Eating Cycle by Michelle May helps you to become aware and in charge of the hundreds of eating decisions you make every day.
(Am I Hungry?, 2015)
You could start by simply paying more attention to your next meal. No TV, no phone, no newspaper, just eat. And enjoy 🙂
By Shani Drake, student dietitian
Am I hungry? Eat Mindfully, Live Vibrantly. Mindful Eating Program [Internet]. 2015 [cited 2015 01 02]. Available from: http://amihungry.com/programs/mindful-eating-program/for-health-and-wellness-professionals/
The Centre for Mindful Eating. Introducing Mindful Eating [Internet]. 2015 [cited 2015 01 02]. Available from: http://thecenterformindfuleating.org/IntroMindfulEating