“Do you eat mindlessly?”
“One of the easiest things we can do to promote health is to eat in a calm, mindful manner.”
What is Mindful Eating?
Mindful eating is an ancient practice of bringing one’s full attention to all the tastes, smells, colors, textures, temperatures, sounds, thoughts, and feelings that arise
around eating and food. It is eating with intention and attention by bringing
awareness to our automatic and reactive responses to food without judgment.
Through the practice of mindful eating you can learn to experience the natural joy of eating, develop a more compassionate attitude toward your body, and quiet your critical mind.
Is there a Benefit?
Some of the benefits of mindful eating include reduced occurrences of over eating, increased enjoyment of food, improved digestion, and being satisfied with less.
Other benefits may include:
- Increased self-esteem and acceptance
- Increased confidence and ability to reach your goals
- Tools for living a healthier life and losing weight
- Insight into patterns and habits that lead to poor health and overweight
- Increased awareness of what you experience in your body, thoughts and feelings
- Help in recognizing and handling stress and your reactions to it
Now that you know the benefits, here are my 8 simple steps to mindful eating:
1. Rate your hunger before you eat
2. Choose food that will satisfy both your body and mind
3. Sit down
4. Eat without distractions and stop multi-tasking
5. Eat like a Foodie
6. Slow Down
8. Notice how you feel when you’re finished eating
Old habits die hard. It may be challenging to practice mindful eating within your hectic lifestyle, especially if you are always on the run. Don’t try to make drastic changes. Lasting change takes time, and is built on many small changes. Start by choosing one meal or snack per day to eat mindfully.
Gina Consalvo, MA, RD, LDN, NCC
Eat Well with Gina, LLC
Nutrition Counseling & Consulting