Mindful eating: The art of presence while you eat
Mindful eating 101 – A beginner’s guide | What can I do instead of comfort eating?
Do you find yourself snacking randomly throughout the day? Are you prone to distractions while cooking and eating? Or maybe you find comfort in food when you’re experiencing off days? Whichever scenario you relate to, it appears that you lack a very important principle called mindful eating.
Now, your next thoughts may be: “what is mindful eating?” and “please tell me how to stop all the comfort eating! Don’t fret. In this article, I’ll be covering the differences between dieting and mindful eating, all the benefits of mindful eating, how to start, and so much more!
What is mindful eating? What is conscious eating?
Have you ever heard the term mindful eating? Some people think it means concentrating while cooking. Others think it is the act of counting calories. Although easy to practice, mindful eating isn’t that simply defined.
It’s so much more than dieting and cutting off carbs. Conscious eating is a way of emerging yourself in the experience of your food. From the moment you think of the meal you’ll make, all the way to taking the last bite.
If you are interested in gaining endless benefits from simply focusing on the process of your food; and if you want to live a more holistic life where you debunk your negative self-image about eating and your cravings, then keep reading. Here is your Mindful eating 101 beginner’s guide.
Mindful eating vs dieting. Is mindful eating a diet? Why is mindful eating better than dieting?
A common mistake many people make is that they mistake mindful eating for dieting. As a qualified Nutritional Therapist, I can confidently say that these are two very different practices. But what are these differences?
Dieting is a strict program to cut off certain food with the hopes of losing weight. Some diets even promote starvation- which (by the way) is not healthy, contrary to popular belief!
On the other hand, mindful eating is a consistent technique. It is a method to increase food awareness and slow you down. It promotes healthy eating behaviours and a healthy relationship with food. Diets do the opposite of that.
It teaches you your body’s cues on when it’s hungry and when it’s full. Diets on the other hand encourage you to ignore your body’s natural cues.
Are you stuck on bad dieting habits in hopes to lose weight? Read this research article on why dieting is probably not the best solution for you: https://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/Dieting-Does-Not-Work-UCLA-Researchers-7832
What is mindful eating and how is it beneficial? What is mindful eating and why is it important? Why is mindful eating important?
The importance of conscious eating:
- Prevents us from multitasking while eating.
- Stops us from ‘passing time’ while making food.
- Prevents decreased satisfaction with meals.
- Increases awareness of food choices.
- Prevents overeating.
- Reduces binge eating.
- Stops people from emotional eating and comfort foods.
We live in a fast-paced society. Our world is filled with distractions. Oftentimes we are doing other things while eating. Working, scrolling through social media, watching TV, and doing other tasks are common things we do while eating.
This is creating a generation of fast food and quick meals. We are becoming less satisfied with meals, feeling less full, or overeating because of a lack of awareness. All of this negatively affects your health.
This is why it is absolutely beneficial to mindfully eat. Not only does it bring benefits to your physical health, but your mental health also thrives. With this practice, you start forming a healthier relationship with food. It also helps people with low body image and food insecurities.
What is mindful eating definition? What is a mindful eater?
According to the dictionary, mindful eating (noun) is “the practice of eating with the express purpose of savoring every flavor, aroma, and texture of food, as usually accomplished through aesthetic appreciation of the food and slow, contemplative ingestion”.
So, a mindful eater would be someone who partakes in this concept. Based on a source from The Oxford Dictionary, it is defined as “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment”.
What does it mean to eat mindfully? What does mindful eating involve?
What is an example of mindful eating?
So, what does mindful eating involve? It involves the act of giving full attention to meals. It includes learning mindful practices. It is a way of meditation around food that allows you to embrace your emotions regarding food.
Conscious eating is a tool to treat eating conditions and low mental state problems like anxiety and depression. It involves a full awareness of hunger cues, fullness cues, food experiences, and cravings.
To eat mindfully means to eat slowly and with no distractions. To eat only when you’re hungry and not to eat until you’re stuffed. It means differentiating between real hunger and cravings. It is a way of engaging your 5 senses in your eating. In this way, you gain a new sense of appreciation for food.
Most of all, it is a way to make healthier food choices while developing a better relationship with food. It’s a way of letting go of anxiety, stress, and guilt related to food. In a way that leads to better food choices and overall health.
Benefits of mindful eating. The many benefits of mindful eating.
Why should you try mindful eating?
Twenty benefits of mindful eating:
- Improves enjoyment of food.
- Prevents overeating.
- Reduces poor food relationships.
- Decreases anxious eating.
- Aids in digestion.
- Improves your mental process regarding meal time.
- Promotes good self-image.
- Helps you to make healthier food choices.
- Can promote weight loss.
- Debunks cravings.
- Allows you to appreciate your meals.
- Gives a positive feeling regarding tastes.
- It’s a gratitude practice.
- New understanding of body cues.
- Promotes regular eating.
- Helps curb snacking.
- Teaches you to listen to your body.
- Aids in eating disorders.
- Supports metabolism.
- Weight management.
The benefits of eating with mindfulness are a lot more than what we are actually aware of. Diet culture wants you to pay expensive prices and make unrealistic changes that will set you up for a quick peak and then sudden failure.
However, it sets you up for slow and controlled growth. It teaches you ways to enjoy food in a better way than ever before. This leads to a healthy relationship with nutrition, your body, and health in general.
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What mindful eating is not? What is mindlessly eating? What is mindless distracted eating?
Mindful vs. Mindless eating. What is the difference between mindful eating and mindless eating?
Mindless eating and mindful eating are polar opposites.
Here is what mindless eating is (and what mindful eating is not):
- Mindless eating is consuming food while doing other activities.
- Eating because you are sad.
- Eating but never feeling satisfied.
- Binge eating.
- Not setting separate time apart to eat.
- Skipping meals.
- Ignoring hunger cues.
- Ignoring cues that you are full.
- Going after taste, not hunger.
- Eating until you are stuffed or feel ill.
- Swallowing food that you barely tasted.
- Not paying attention to the food you’re eating.
- Rushing through your meals.
- Forgetting smells, tastes, and appearances of meals you just had.
Before you can start your journey to eating consciously, you need to understand what mindful eating is not. This is important to know so that you don’t make uneducated mistakes in hopes that it might bring results.
This way of eating isn’t a strict punishment at all. On the contrary, it is a beautiful gift for your health and well-being. If you feel like you’ve tried everything to lose weight. Or you are looking for simple and effective ways to start living healthier. Then you should give this practice a try. It might just change your life for the better.
What’s the difference between intuitive eating and mindful eating? Are mindful eating and intuitive eating the same?
Mindful eating vs intuitive eating:
You might have reached this far into this article and started to wonder if all this mindful eating stuff isn’t just intuitive eating. Well, both intuitive and mindful eating are concepts used by health advocates that do not promote diet culture.
Though they fall under the same umbrella of practices, they both have various differences. It’s important to know the distinction so that you can make educated decisions. Keep reading to learn what these differences are.
Mindful eating is the practice of mindfulness regarding eating. This means to fully emerge yourself in the experience of your food. From the moment the “what should I cook for dinner later?” thought hits you.
Up until the final bite you take at night. It’s walking a journey with your food in a way of being fully present. This is to achieve a better relationship with food, a stronger desire to eat more nutritious meals and to understand your body’s hunger cues.
It allows you to gain an awareness of the positive and nutritional values of healthy food. It incorporates all your senses in food preparation so that you can become more satisfied with food. It helps you make better decisions with food without judgment.
Intuitive eating varies from mindful eating. Don’t mistake the one for the other. Intuitive eating is directed at overcoming eating disorders. It allows you a space to debunk diet culture. To make peace with every food type.
It’s a way of gaining satisfaction from eating by listening to your inner cues. It goes beyond just your eating experience. It incorporates an active change in the relationship with one’s body and food.
It includes debunking an entire mentality. To respect your body regardless of what society says about it. It gives you unconditional permission to eat. To balance mind, body, and nutrition. It is based on 10 principles. Some include feeling your fullness, respecting your body, and feeling a difference with movement.
How to practice mindful eating. How do you practice mindful eating?
How do I start mindful eating? What are the steps to mindful eating?
28 Mindful eating strategies:
- Prioritize meal time separately from leisure time.
- Get a designated dining table.
- Prevent distractions while eating.
- Don’t lay or stand while eating.
- Don’t skip meals.
- Have a mindful kitchen set up.
- Don’t starve yourself.
- Address anxiety-related eating.
- Smell, taste, and pay attention while cooking.
- Serve food onto a kitchen dish instead of the packaging.
- Chew food thoroughly.
- Eat until satisfied, not full.
- Have a positive attitude towards food,
- Create a daily food plan.
- Schedule healthy snacks.
- Recognise signs of hunger.
- Do not be rushed through eating.
- Use your senses while eating.
- Use healthy spices that you love.
- Become aware of your feelings for your meal.
- Eat meals that give energy.
- Practice gratitude towards food.
- Eat a wide variety of food.
- Cook your own food often.
- Decrease portion sizes.
- Eat fresh in-season fruit and veggies.
- Only eat food for its nutritional value.
- Find an accountability partner.
Mindful eating is a practice that can easily be started. You might wonder where to start. A little tip: Start with any one of these 28 practices. Once you master one of them. Take on a new one.
Continue doing this until you’ve mastered all 28 of these steps. You can turn this into a 28-week challenge and add one more step each week! This is a fun and exciting way to start your journey of healing eating. To gain a healthy relationship with food and your body. It’s also helpful to keep a journal while implementing these portion sizes.
Does mindful eating actually work?
Why is mindful eating so popular? Why should you try mindful eating?
When we hear about anything in the health industry, our first thought is “does this actually work.” Many people who practice eating in a mindful manner have recorded positive results. So the best way to find out whether or not something works is to try it yourself!
Mindful eating is popular because many people say it helps them lose weight, reduce stress, digest better, debunk binge eating, and even eased eating disorders. So why should you try it? We live in a diet-culture era. In a society that believes starvation is healthy. That we should constantly compare ourselves to other people that are “better” than us.
Eating with awareness helps you become mindful of your own journey. It may or may not be for everyone. But it’s one way to figure out what healthy means to you and for you to get the best relationship with food you can have.
Does mindful eating help with weight loss? Mindful eating weight loss. Can I lose weight with mindful eating?
Indirectly, mindful eating can help with weight loss. How you might wonder? Well, just think about it. Its a way of eating that encourages you to portion control, to eat food for its nutritional value, to gain a positive body image, not to binge eat, and to listen to hunger cues and full cues.
Those are all aspects of a weight loss journey. It’s a practice that prevents overeating. It connects your mind to your food. Which is a good way to help your body get all the nutrients and minerals out of all meals.
Do not go into it hoping to lose weight overnight. However, practicing mindfulness with food every day will definitely help you make better food choices. That, on top of quality sleep, exercise, and stress management. You’re well on your way to losing excess fat.
How does mindful eating reduce stress?
Mindful eating is a way of addressing stress related to food. Whether you’re obsessive over weight loss. Or you stress over what to make for dinner. This practice helps you to approach food and food choices in a calm manner.
It allows you to pay attention to what your body needs. Any mindful practice reduces stress. So mindful eating is no different. Stress-related eating like emotional eating, emotional starvation, or comfort food is also all debunked once you start eating mindfully.
Can mindful eating help digestion?
Mindful eating is a great way to aid digestion. With mindful eating you will:
- Snack less.
- Make healthier food choices.
- Eat proper meals.
- Eat nutritional meals.
- Explore a diversity of food types.
- Only eat when hungry.
- Stop overeating.
- Eat smaller portions.
- Eat earlier at night.
- Listen to hunger cues.
- Decrease stress.
Snacking less, decreasing portion sizes, eating earlier at night, and everything else mentioned in this list make digestion easier. When you eat nutritional meals with diversity, you improve the healthy gut microbiomes. This leaves for better digestion and gut health.
Eating smaller portions in the day allows your body to digest easier. This speeds up your metabolism. That, on top of eating earlier at night and cutting off bad snacks. Is a good recipe for healthy digestion.
Can mindful eating help binge eating? How do you eat mindfully and not binge eating?
All the practices mentioned in every section are a way to stop binge eating. Binge eating is caused by many things. It can be a side-effect of an eating disorder. It can be a stress-management effort. It can be the cause of improper nutrition and skipping meals.
Whatever your reason is, this practice gives you a space to explore these reasons. It gives you an awareness of why you react in certain ways to food. It teaches you to be calm and centered with food choices.
This is a great way to stop binge eating. When you meal plan, portion control, eat when you are hungry, don’t overeat, and don’t starve yourself. Then you’ll have more control over the amount you eat. With mindful practice, you can learn how to do all of this.
Online intuitive eating coaching | Virtual Nutritional Therapist. Can a nutritional therapist help with mindful eating?
How do I learn mindful eating? How can I change my attitude towards food? How do I learn self-control with food?
Now that we’ve reached the end. You might be ready to start your journey. However, you’re still not sure how to learn intuitive eating. Nor how to change your attitude towards food. What I want to tell you is that you’re not alone.
Many people relate to your exact struggle regarding health, food, and body positivity. I’ve helped my clients through coaching. To change the way they experience nutrition. To debunk all the negative experiences that come with poor food choices.
Constipation, diarrhea, bloating, food sensitivities, chronic fatigue, and an unhealthy gut does not have to be your reality anymore. When you work with me, a Nutritional Therapist, you get guided knowledge, plans, tips, advice, and solutions to your nutritional and lifestyle choices.
Whether you want to learn how to practice mindful eating, how to change your attitude towards food, or how to gain self-control with food choices. I am here to help you.
Intuitive eating coach near me. Nutritional Therapist near me.
I am a passionate Nutritional Therapist with an International Diploma in Naturopathic Nutrition with CNM (College of Naturopathic Medicine), and a member of NTOI (Nutritional Therapists of Ireland).
I specialize in helping people who suffer from frustrating digestive issues like constipation, bloating, heartburn and reflux. I love working alongside people who are eager to resolve their issues so they can achieve symptom relief without medication, even when they have previously felt hopeless.
My mission is to empower my clients with the knowledge that our bodies are self-healing when given the right building blocks. As a result, they regain control of their health and have an improved quality of life, like in their younger years.
If you are having some of these digestive issues now is the time to address them, this is your body sending you signals and shouting “HELP ME!”.
Click here to book a 30 minute free no-obligation session with me so that we can discuss your current health concerns and how nutritional therapy can help you. https://calendly.com/siobhan-swart/30-minute-gut-rescue?back=1&month=2021-06