Mindful eating may change your relationship with food forever.
What does mindful mean? It means being in tune with your body or listening to your body. It means being present, being in the moment.
The opposite to being mindful is being mindless and with regard to food and eating, mindless eating often results in :
- Loss of control
Mindlessness usually results in negative feelings, you berate yourself for not having willpower, you feel uncomfortable, overfull, a failure. The experience is never a good one, but sadly mindless eating often becomes the norm.
Mindful eating on the other hand has many positive benefits including improved health, better sleep and fewer gastrointestinal (GI) difficulties.
The advantage of eating mindfully:
- No more diet/binge cycles which are not only destructive when trying to reach a weightloss or health goal but are also not good for your health and metabolism in the long run.
- Food can finally become your friend, you will learn to enjoy food as it no longer controls you.
- Your physical and mental health will improve as you get better nutrition in the right quantities.
- You will find it easier to achieve your optimal weight with little effort. By no longer overeating, and often the wrong foods, you will attain your body goals effortlessly.
- Your energy levels will increase and so will your motivation as you start to see results.
- Exercise will be easier and become more fun. It’s hard to exercise when you always feel overfull, bloated or lethargic.
- Digestive health will improve, especially if your mindfulness includes cutting out junk food.
- It is possible, through mindfulness to eliminate eating disorders, regain control and ensure that your nutritional choices will bring you closer to your goals, not further away from them.
- By mindfully choosing a healthy diet, you will eliminate cravings and excessive hunger.
Becoming mindful isn’t always easy, it takes practice. You can become better at it each day, in small ways, and by building on good habits.
Mindful nutrition means being in the moment, having the presence of mind about the food we eat. This includes an appreciation of the role that food plays in our bodies. Mindful eating becomes a sensory experience, making food your friend.
Sadly many people experience a real LOVE/HATE relationship with food.
So the next time, before one of these love/hate cycles occur, I want you to use the following strategy, and practice it until it becomes a habit. When faced by mindless eating . . .
Stop . . . simply stop
Take a few deep breaths
Observe your emotions, motives and thoughts surrounding the food you’re faced by.
Is it time to eat? Yes. Is this an appropriate meal, the food you should be eating? Yes
Proceed mindfully, stop when you’re full. Eat with all your senses
If eating is irrational, emotional, it’s not time to eat, the wrong food, you’re still full from your last meal . . . proceed with caution. Walk away, distract yourself.
By practicing mindful eating regularly, it will become a habit, an automated response. You will heal your relationship with food forever and effortlessly attain your goals.