What if there was a way you could eliminate emotional, out of control eating from your life for good? You can — thanks to a practice called ‘Mindful Eating’.
Most of us are unaware when we are eating mindlessly however, most people will fall into the trap of eating without actually being hungry, enjoying the food or paying attention, such as:
- Eating because it‘s a ‘meal time’.
- Stress/boredom/emotional eating.
- Eating sugar dense or caffeinated foods to stay alert.
- Eating at certain events & occasions out of habit.
- Time restrictions & eating quickly.
- Confusing thirst for hunger.
- Picking at food while distracted (eg. browsing socials, watching TV, working at a computer, cooking or meal prepping)
This often results in over-consuming calories, poor digestion & struggling to stick to a healthy eating plan.
Practicing ‘Mindful Eating’ can help you develop a healthier relationship with food & make better choices that are conducive to your personal health goals.
What is Mindful Eating?
Mindful eating is a technique that helps you gain control over your eating habits and has been shown to promote weight loss, reduce binge eating, and improve digestive health. It involves using mindfulness to reach a state of full attention to your experiences, cravings, and physical cues when eating. This can help you distinguish between emotional and physical hunger, as well as increase your awareness of food-related triggers and give you the freedom to choose your response to them.
But how, exactly, do you practice mindfulness with your meals?
This infographic demonstrates 8 simple tricks you can implement today to help you slow down and savour your food.
Mindful Eating Exercise
If you’re still struggling to stay present with your plate, try this Mindful Eating exercise the next time you sit down to eat:
1. Choose a bite size piece of food.
2. Look at the food, noting its shape, colour & texture.
3. Smell the food. What is it like?
4. Place part of the food on your tongue & note what happens. Does it have a strong flavour? Do you like the flavour? Are your salivary glands producing excess saliva? Is it heavy on your tongue?
5. Take a bite of the food & note how the flavour & texture changes in your mouth. Chew the food thoroughly until semi-liquid.
6. Send the food to the back of your throat and swallow. Can you feel it travel down your oesophagus? Do you need to do a few swallows to get it all down?
7. Silently, or aloud, say the name of the food you just consumed.
The first time may be a bit unusual if you are new to practicing mindful eating, and like any skill, it takes practice. Do this consistently & you’ll start to see your eating habits improve over time.