Practicing mindfulness can aid in improving both your emotional and physical wellbeing. But did you know mindfulness can extend to how and what you eat? Read on for tips on how to incorporate mindful eating habits into your everyday life.
Maintaining a healthy weight can be difficult, especially in a diet-obsessed culture where so many different options for nourishing yourself are available. With limited time, it can be even harder to truly focus on what you’re putting into your body. Mindful eating is all about eating with intention – the intention to care for your health and pay attention to how the food you eat affects your body.
The qualities of mindful eating include:
- Being aware of your hunger cues, both physically and emotionally
- Recognizing your triggers for eating when you aren’t hungry (i.e., stress, anxiety, depression, boredom, loneliness, etc.)
- Learning to meet your emotional needs without eating
- Choosing food for both pleasure and nutrition
- Eating for happiness and total-body wellbeing
- Using the food you’ve eaten as fuel to live the spirited life you desire
- Eating only when actually hungry
There are many resources available to you online to help with mindful eating. A simple internet search for “mindful eating” will bring up an abundance of resources for you to choose from. Dr. Susan Albers, a leading doctor in the field of mindful eating, has created a four-pronged attack to get you on track with mindful eating.
When you are eating, ask yourself these four questions:
- Mind: Am I tasting each bite or am I zoned out when I eat?
- Body: How does my body feel before and after I eat? Do I have low energy? Is my stomach rumbling? Am I full?
- Feeling: What do I feel about this food – guilt, pleasure, joy, disappointment, regret?
- Thought: What thoughts does this food bring to mind – memories, beliefs, fears?