Mindful eating is about bringing awareness to your interactions with food and while you're eating. The aim is to pay closer attention to your physical sensations, thoughts, emotions, feelings, eating habits and triggers/cues to eat. From traditional mindfulness practice, bring curiosity to the moment to better understand yourself and your environment, without any judgement on yourself or food.
Practising mindful eating (yes, like any skill it needs to be practised often), can help you: 1. be more aware of your eating habits and promts to eat, so you can develop new skills e.g. slowing your eating, reducing distractions, eating more aligned with your body cues rather than emotions etc. 2. use your different senses (sight, smell, touch, taste) to better engage with your food and be more satisfied with the foods you enjoy. 3. be more curious with less judgement and more compassion for how you're feeling around food. 4. be less reactive with food, while allowing yourself time to consider what's going on for you.
Mindful eating is NOT about controlling body weight or shape, or being incorporated into a diet. Body change may occur if you are a frequent mindless eater, however this is not the point of using mindfulness skills.
Intuitive Eating is ultimately about listening to and trusting your body to tell you when, what and how much food to eat at any given time (considering we need different amounts of energy on different days and at different times depending on activity, sleep, stress, temperature, menstrual cycle etc). With the premise that we are the experts of our own bodies, we can learn to differentiate between physical and emotional needs.
On the surface, intuitive eating may sound simple, but it can be quite complex. "Eat when you're hungry and stop when you're full” may sound like a no-brainer, but when you have a history of chronic dieting or rigid 'healthy eating' rules, it's actually difficult, because a number of things need to be in place, including the ability to trust your body and have less judgement on yourself and different foods.
Needing support to be a more mindful and intuitive eater? Get in touch x