How many of us actually practice mindful eating?
Many of us eat when we are not hungry or when we are bored or simply distracted with other things, like driving or watching TV. Mindless, or unconscious eating, leads to overeating and an unhealthy relationship with food.
When you eat mindfully, you give your food your full attention which allows you to savor your food fully without eating to excess. Rooted in Buddhist’s teachings, mindful eating is a conscious awareness of the way food looks, feels, smells, and tastes, as well as the thoughts and feelings you experience while eating it. We tapped into The Center For Mindful Eating (TCME) and asked them what their idea of mindful eating is:
• Allowing yourself to become aware of the positive and nurturing opportunities that are available through food preparation and consumption by respecting your own inner wisdom.
• Choosing to eat food that is both pleasing to you and nourishing to your body by using all your senses to explore, savor and taste.
• Acknowledging responses to food (likes, neutral or dislikes) without judgment.
• Learning to be aware of physical hunger and satiety cues to guide your decision to begin eating and to stop eating.
• Acknowledging that there is no right or wrong way to eat but varying degrees of awareness surrounding the experience of food.
• Accepting that his/her eating experiences are unique.
• Is an individual who by choice, directs his/her awareness to all aspects of food and eating on a moment-by-moment basis.
• Is an individual who looks at the immediate choices and direct experiences associated with food and eating: not to the distant health outcome of that choice.
• Is aware of and reflects on the effects caused by unmindful eating.
• Experiencing insight about how he/she can act to achieve specific health goals as he/she becomes more attuned to the direct experience of eating and feelings of health.
• Becoming aware of the interconnection of earth, living beings, and cultural practices and the impact of his/ her food choices has on those systems.
By practicing mindful eating, you’ll learn to eat only when you are hungry, to eat only what you want to eat, and to stop eating when you’ve had enough. You’ll also appreciate and enjoy your food like never before, with the added benefit of developing healthier eating habits. Visit The Center For Mindful Eating at http://www.tcme.org/ for more helpful tips, guidance, and resources related to the practice of mindful eating.