What Is Mindful Eating?

What Is Mindful Eating?

There has been substantial growth in the popularity of mindfulness across recent decades. As a result, more folks are aware of the benefits of practicing present-focused awareness. Applications of mindfulness are plentiful to include when eating. Perhaps you are already aware of mindful eating and understand it as having something to do with eating more slowly or chewing your food longer? While these practices do play a role in a mindful approach to eating, they only scratch the surface.

Guidelines For Mindful Eating

Why explore mindful eating? One reason is to experiment with developing a more effective relationship with food. For example, mindful eating can contribute to maintaining your desired weight. It can play a role in prevention or management of chronic diseases like hypertension, Type 2 Diabetes, or heart disease. Mindful eating can also create additional opportunity to experience joy. Perhaps, at present, we are more likely to eat when distracted by screens. Mindful eating reminds us to focus on and slow down our consumption of food, to savor the experience of eating – a practice that can, by extension, contribute to the noticing and savoring of other increasingly overlooked experiences of our day.

If you’re interested in exploring mindful eating, below are some guidelines to get started:

  • Refrain from eating because “it’s time” or because you are feeling intense emotions; instead, become aware of hunger and satiety cues to guide decisions on when to eat.
  • Be intentional when creating a shopping list to choose items with true health benefits.
  • Start with a small portion. While you can always have a second portion as needed, such an approach creates opportunity to notice that, when eating more mindfully, the predicted need for a second portion can be inaccurate.
  • Enjoy each bite of your food. Taste all flavors. Feel different textures. Doing so adds joy and sensuality to your life.

Mindful eating can contribute to a more workable relationship with food, mark a departure from dieting, and empower folks to make more effective choices through common sense and a deeper connection to the joy of eating.

Working with a skilled, experienced psychologist, therapist, or counselor can help with the development of such skills. If you are interested in further exploring concerns about your relationship with food, I invite you to call or email me to get started working together. Telehealth appointments are available.


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