mindful-eating

Mindful Eating

May 11, 2016 no comments operator Categories Blog, Healthy Living

What is mindfulness?

Being mindful means paying attention to your current thoughts and emotions. It means intentionally ignoring outside stimuli, such as the environment, and intrusive thoughts about the past or future.

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So what is mindful eating?

Mindful eating is being aware of your relationship with food, your emotions, your eating habits, and your decisions regarding food.

  1. Mindful eating is paying attention to the signals your body is sending you, and using those signals to choose food that is both satisfying and nourishing.
  2. It means being aware of your responses to food, whether they be liking or disliking it, and also to your body’s reaction to that food.
  3. Being aware of your emotional state, which may trigger an impulse to eat when you are not in fact hungry.
  4. It also includes paying attention to your body’s cues of hunger and thirst. This approach means eating when you are hungry, not when you are supposed to be eating.

How do I eat mindfully?

Consider asking yourself these questions-

  1. Do I only eat when I am hungry, or do I eat according to my emotions? Do I often eat when I am sad, bored, or lonely?
  2. Am I choosing food that will help fuel my body throughout the day?
  3. How do I feel after I eat?
  4. When there are options available, am I choosing nutritious and satisfying foods?
  5. How do I eat? Do I often eat when I am on-the-go? Do I eat quickly?
  6. Do I eat until I am uncomfortably full?
  7. Do I often snack while I am completing tasks, and not pay attention to how much or what I am eating?
  8. Do I eat meals on a schedule, regardless of whether or not I am hungry?
  9. Do I skip meals when I am busy, even if I am hungry?
  10. Am I even enjoying the foods I choose to eat?

Why should I eat mindfully?

There are many benefits to mindful eating.

  1. It is not a diet. It is simply changing your frame of mind to consider whether or not you are making the right choices for yourself.
  2. It decreases stress and therefore stress induced eating.
  3. Can help you manage your weight without restricting the foods you can eat, how much, or when.
  4. Requires little change in lifestyle.
  5. Helps you become more aware of your body and emotions.

So how do I get started?

Here are some tips to help you begin your mindful eating journey.

  1. Eat more slowly- take the time to enjoy your food, and pay attention to when you begin feeling full.
  2. Eat without distraction- challenge yourself to eat without watching TV, reading, etc.
  3. Know what you are eating- consider the ingredients and nutritional content of what you are eating. Is this really the best choice for your body? Are you fully enjoying what you are eating?
  4. Be aware of how you feel after you eat- a good way to keep track is using a food journal. Write down what you eat in a day, and how you feel afterward. Keep an eye out for trends in how you feel and what you are eating.
  5. Pay attention to your hunger cues- ask yourself if you are eating because it is supposed to be a meal time, or if you are eating because you are hungry. Make time to eat, even on your busiest days.

 

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