The practice of mindfulness is to be fully present and aware of the moment you are experiencing. Mindful eating involves concentrating on the process of eating and enjoying the sensations of food, such that we become aware of our body’s hunger and satiety cues. Mindful eating guides us to eat with joy while nourishing our bodies with energy. Instead of worrying about factors such as weight, we can learn to trust our bodies to tell us when and what to eat in order to feel our best. Research shows that mindful eating helps with weight management and the development of healthy, maintainable eating habits.
Mindful eating helps us move away from:
- Feeling guilty
- Dieting or imposing restrictions on certain foods
- Keeping track of calories
- Binge eating
- Concerned with weight or appearance
- “Perfect” healthy eating
Why should you eat mindfully?
- It promotes a healthy relationship with food. Individuals who practice mindful eating are reported to feel happier with their food choices and are associated less with unhealthy eating behaviors.
- It helps us make long-term improvements in our health. In a study that examined chronic dieting, it was found that group members learning about an intuitive eating model were able to make long-term improvements, while the dieting group members lost weight initially, but regained it later on.
- It improves out psychological well-being. Self-compassion is a type of emotion regulation that is linked with higher levels of intuitive eating and reduced disordered eating in women.