It’s well known that how we look physically has a significant effect on how we feel about ourselves, and maintaining a healthy weight can have a significant positive impact on your emotional and mental well-being. Research has shown that people who eat mindfully, on average, are less likely to be obese and don’t use food as a way to alleviate stress and boredom. Food is delicious and we all love it, but with increased mindfulness, we can avoid using eating to combat frustration, stress, boredom, anger and more.
So, the question is how can we learn to eat in a mindful way?
Mindfully eating may seem like a daunting prospect, but it’s about giving thought to what we’re eating and thinking in the moment about the looks, smells, and textures of the food – and this is before we even start to eat!
When we are eating it, it’s about thinking how it tastes, how it will nourish our bodies and strengthen our mind. These mindfulness techniques will help you to pay attention and beat your cravings for unhealthy food.
Practice mindful eating following these simple steps
Practice gradually – By starting off practicing mindful eating for just one meal or snack a day will help you on your path. Whilst it may feel a bit strange and unfamiliar at first, you’ll soon get used to it and can build up the frequency.
Listen to your body – When you go to grab something to eat, take a moment to think about your body and what it’s telling you. Are you eating because you’re genuinely hungry, or are you bored, stressed or upset? Are you just eating because food is in front of you? By taking a moment to think about why you’re about to eat, you can disrupt the automatic nature of mindless eating.
Learn to enjoy the experience – When you’re eating, pay full attention to the process, observing without analysing or judging yourself. By fully engaging with the full experience of eating, you’ll find you need less food to feel satisfied.
Pay attention to the way you feel physically, emotionally and mentally after eating – Do you eat without feeling regret or guilt afterwards? Can you stop yourself or do you end up binge eating? How do you think you’d feel if you stopped? One way you can practice thinking about these things is to wait just a few minutes before you pick up the comfort food or take a second helping to see if your thoughts, emotions and physical sensations differ.
Don’t multitask – Try eating without the distractions of your phone, the internet or the TV. This way, you can really focus on eating mindfully and truly enjoy food on a level you may not otherwise.
Food is delicious and it’s only natural that we love to eat, but mindless eating can easily turn into vicious cycles of binging and addiction. By thinking about our food as we eating it and the experience of the process, we can avoid relying unnecessarily on food. We can still eat things that we adore, but we can make choices that will help us to maintain our physical, mental and emotional health.
For more information about how Then Change can help you with your mindful eating, simply phone 0774 888 1404 or send a message for a strictly confidential chat.