What is Mindful Eating?

What does Mindful eating mean?

It can be explained as “paying attention to an eating experience with all of our senses (seeing, tasting, hearing, smelling, feeling); witnessing the emotional and physical responses that take place before, during and after the eating experience”

When are you mindful eating?

You'd be eating mindfully if you are:

✔ Listening to your body and stopping when full...
... not when the plate is empty. A good trick for this is to get smaller plates. Once you're finished, try to feel if you're really still hungry or not.

✔ Eating when your body tells you to eat...
... and not when your emotions tell you to eat. Triggers to eat should not be that you're sad, bored, alone, stressed.

✔ Eating with other people, at set times and places...
... and being present. If you're with other people, you should be interacting with them, and you should feel awkward if you (or the rest) are absorbed in their phones. Instead, be there, with them, enjoying what your doing.

✔ Eating foods that are nutritious and healthy "on purpose"
Consider where food came from. Prepare your own meals when possible. Ask yourself how do you feel about the food you are eating.

✔ ENJOY eating
Avoid distractions when eating. Take time to truly savor and taste your food. Always sit down for a meal. Eat slower.

The Opposite is "Mindless Eating."

Mindless eating often causes us to eat too quickly and typically overeat because we are unaware of what we are eating, how much we are eating, and if we are actually still hungry as we are finishing our plate.

When are you mindlessly eating?

You may be eating mindlessly if you are:

✘ Consistently eating until you are "about to blow up" or "can't even walk."

✘ Find yourself gobbling on food without really tasting it.

✘ Don’t pay attention to the foods you are eating and frequently eat surrounded by distractions.

✘ Rush through meals. Eat on your desk, or standing.

✘ Have trouble remembering the taste, smell, and look of the meal you have just eaten.

Practicing a more mindful approach to eating can enhance the enjoyment of your meals, reduce overeating, aid good digestion, reduce anxious thoughts surrounding food, and improve your psychological relationship with food.