Benefits of Mindful Eating
What is Mindful Eating?
Mindful eating is an awareness of the physical and emotional sensations associated with eating. Mindful eating is about being aware of how we eat and how we feel when we eat.
Why do I eat? - Are you aware of all the situations and emotions that trigger you to eat when you are not hungry?
When do I eat? - Can you tell the difference between physical hunger and head hunger (emotional triggers when you are not hungry)?
What do I eat? - Can you make the perfect food choice to satisfy both your body and mind and help you feel better and become healthier?
How do I eat? - Do you truly love what you eat or you eat fast, barely tasting your food?
How much do I eat? - How do you feel when you are done eating? Can you identify situations or emotions that trigger you to overeat?
Where do I invest the energy I consume? - Does your life reflect wellness and wholeness in body, mind, and spirit?
Asking yourself these questions can help you break your unhealthy eating habits and build a positive and enjoyable relationship with food, leading to a happier and healthier you.
Researches have confirmed that mindful eating has proven benefits ranging from physical to psychological.
Researchers have found a positive relationship between mindful eating and healthy eating. Mindful eating is associated with less impulsive eating, reduced calorie consumption, and having a preference for healthier foods.
Mindful eating is also an effective way to help those suffering from eating disorders. A review of a mindfulness-based eating awareness training found that mindful eating can decrease the frequency of binge eating episodes, improve self-control over food, and reduce symptoms of depression associated with binge eating disorder (Kristeller & Wolever, 2010). Another review of 14 studies confirmed these results, showing that mindfulness is effective in reducing binge eating and emotional eating (Katterman, Kleinman, Hood, Nackers, & Corsica, 2014).
Ways to Implement Mindful Eating
Avoid screens at the table. Turn off the TV, phone, tablet, computer.
Make eating an exclusive event rather than multitasking. Avoid eating on the go or in the car.
Sit down and eat together with your loved ones, family, friends.
Take a moment to pause and cultivate gratitude for your food before eating it. Appreciate your meal. Acknowledge the gift of food and the effort that went into preparing it.
Be mindful of the portions to ensure you are enjoying quality, not quantity.
Make peace with food.
Use all your senses in choosing and experiencing food that is both satisfying to you and nourishing to your body.
Stay aware of what you are doing and the effects that it has on your body.
Honor your feelings without using food.
Practice awareness of your emotions, physical hunger.
Be mindful of how hungry you are. Honor your hunger.
Allow enough time to eat. Eat slowly, chew your food well, and make each meal last at least 20-30 minutes, preferably even longer.
Take time to really focus on your food and give a full attention. Notice the taste, texture, shape, and smell of your food. Notice the sensations in your mouth and stomach. Savor it.
Acknowledge your responses to food.
Discover the satisfaction factor.
Listen to your body to tell you when you are full. It can take up to 20 minutes for your brain to register if you’re full or not. Respect your fullness.
Respect your body and honor your health.