Mindful eating is based on mindfulness, a form of meditation that allows you to identify and express emotions and sensations. Mindfulness teaches the art of being in the moment, free of judgement. With some people celebrating the holidays this weekend, I thought I would introduce you to the concept of mindful eating as it can improve our mind-body connection and reduce behaviours such as over-eating, binging and emotional eating.
Not only that, mindfulness can also help to alleviate symptoms of depression
and anxiety, which often coincide with eating concerns.
Mindful eating increases the ability to be actively present and attentive to the emotional and physical experience of eating.
If we ate in a way that was fully present, this is what it might look like:
- listening and noticing our hunger cues and when we feel full
- learning to differentiate between actual hunger and non-hunger cues (i.e. emotional eating, fulfill a craving, etc.)
- taking a moment to notice each item on your place
- eating each bite slowly, free of distractions
- making the most of our senses by noticing smells, textures, colours and tastes
- eating to nourish ourselves in a healthy way
- noticing and coping with feelings of guilt and/ or anxiety about food
- learning to appreciate and give gratitude for the food you are eating
Being mindful takes practice so it's best to start small. Here's a few tips:
- Pick a place to eat that will allow you to focus on your food
- Eliminate as many distractions as possible
- Eat in a calm, quiet environment
- Allow time to eat slowly
- Enjoy each bite and chew completely
- Take in the food with each sense
- Notice cues of fullness
Try a few of these ideas at your next meal and work your way up to eating mindfully. With practice, you can extend these skills into other areas and work on living a more present-focused, nonjudgmental life.
playing as an elite athlete, Alana suffered an injury that would derail her dreams. Her healing process propelled her to help others. Alana has years of experience helping clients with their mind-body health.
To learn more about mindfulness in the treatment of mood, anxiety and eating disorders, call Alana