Since I have mentioned mindful (intuitive) eating several times in my posts, I thought it would be helpful to explain what it is.
According to The Center for Mindful Eating, 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.
In our society, we are great at multitasking and dieting. Both of these habits lead to mindless eating. When you are doing multiple things at once, it is impossible to be fully present during any activity. It is common to see people eating while driving, watching TV, etc. When you eat mindlessly, you are unable to be in tune with your senses and don’t notice the flavor or texture of the food. You are also less likely to be able to notice when you are full, which leads to overeating. When you diet, you follow certain rules about what you should eat, when you should eat, how you should eat, etc. This causes you to be completely out of sync with your body’s needs. You are unable to correctly recognize hunger or fullness and you also can’t enjoy food anymore.
While we have been dieting and rushing through our lives, we have become obsessed with eating the “right” things and have neglected to look at our eating behaviors. I think our eating behaviors are just as important, if not more important, than what we eat. When we focus on eating the “right” foods, we are just putting a band-aid over unhealthy eating habits. It does not matter whether you eat a bag of chips or a bag of carrots after you have had a fight with your best friend. What matters is why you eat large amounts of food to help soothe yourself. Learning to be mindful while you eat will help you recognize these unhealthy eating behaviors. Once these behaviors are addressed, your relationship with food will begin to heal.
My hope is to help people make peace with food through the principles of mindful eating. If you have questions or want to know more, please contact me. I am here to help you!