Whats is Mindful Eating?
For many people eating is a fast paced, multitasking event where your attention is on everything except what and why you are eating. Mindful eating is paying attention to the food you eat as you prepare, serve and consume it.
Why Should You Try Mindful Eating?
Being attentive to the process of eating can help you better control your urges to overeat, binge or make food choices that are undesirable for your body. Whether you are struggling to recover from an eating disorder or simply making choices that are better for you and the planet, eating mindfully is a skill worth developing.
When you focus on the sight, smells and taste of what you are eating in addition to acknowledging and accepting the thoughts, feelings and sensations that surround your snack or meal, you are eating mindfully. This process can help you achieve a more respectful and peaceful relationship with food.
3 Simple Steps to Mindful Eating
- Serve food in a respectful manner. Eating straight from a bag or while standing at the refrigerator takes little effort but it is not a self-caring way to nourish yourself. You don’t have to pull out the fancy china to eat but you should at least put your food on a napkin, plate or bowl and take it to a place where you can be comfortable and minimize distractions for at least 5 minutes while you eat it.
- Sit to slow yourself down and transition from multitasking. This will help you focus on nourishing your body. A chair at a table is one way to do this but if that is not an option you can achieve the same outcome while in your car or at your desk. To eat mindfully in your car you need to pull over or park somewhere rather than eat while driving. At your desk, turn off your computer and put work aside for at least 5 minutes.
- Savor your meal or snack by paying attention to the appearance, smell, and tastes of what you are eating. Take a photo of your food and think about what you would say if you were posting it on social media. This is also the time to notice the thoughts and feelings surrounding what you are eating. Let go of judgmental thoughts that arise and don’t focus on what you believe you should or shouldn’t be eating.
Mindful Eating is a Skill
It takes practice and persistence to eat mindfully. If you need help learning how to Serve, Sit and Savor, reach out to me for a free 15 minute phone consultation. Luckily, you don’t have to become an expert at it to reap the benefits. I really like this blog post by Christopher Willard. He shares six practical ways to become a more mindful eater and it doesn’t require you to attend a formal mindfulness retreat or contemplate a raisin for 5 minutes!.