Mindful eating is a whole new approach to diet, and fitness is transforming the weight loss industry. Once considered a little unusual, it is now going mainstream and becoming quite popular.
What is mindful eating?
Mindful Eating approaches nutrition and diet from the standpoint of Mindfulness or moment-to-moment awareness.
Originally a Buddhist practice, Mindfulness has recently been deployed in healthcare settings to provide clinically documented relief in cases of insomnia, depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, hypertension, migraines, menopause, arthritis, and more.
Power of Mindfulness in Diet & Nutrition
Mindful Eating applies the power of this healing moment-to-moment awareness to a person’s relationship with food.
It builds the mind-body connection to the point where a person naturally makes healthy choices regarding nutrition. Instead of prescribing or prohibiting particular foods or specifically limiting food intake.
Mindful Eating asks an individual to slow down and turn their attention inward. A person who practices Mindful Eating makes a point of noticing when they are genuinely hungry or not, rather than simply eating out of habit or meeting an emotional need.
Eating with Awareness
Eating Mindfully cuts through unhelpful conditioned habits and restores the mind-body relationship so that you can eat from your authentic hunger and recognize satiation.
By being in the moment and observing your sensations, thoughts, and feelings, you can develop a healthy sense of what you really need.
Sometimes, it’s not food, but rather attention, intellectual stimulation, emotional intimacy, or a foot massage that genuinely fulfils you at any particular moment.
Eat for Satisfaction & Health
Sometimes food is precisely what you need. Non-judgmental awareness lets you perceive precisely what your body craves and needs at any given moment. There are no forbidden foods; Mindful Eating trains the mind to become aware of what the body requires. A person interested in trying this approach to health might start by developing the following habits:
Notice when you are actually hungry and how that is different from when you start to eat because of stress or anger or just plain routine.
Eat without distraction. Don’t read, look at the computer, work, drive, watch television, talk on the phone, or even listen to music while eating.
Just sit down, pay attention to the food, and eat. Notice your hunger; notice the flavour and the smell of each bite; notice the sensations of hunger abating; notice fullness.
Notice thoughts and feelings as you anticipate your meal, as you eat it, and as you begin to feel full.
Most difficult of all: let go of your goal. Never mind your past body or the body you aspire to; they are not in the present moment.
Herein lies the paradox at the heart of all Mindfulness-based therapies – you must let go of results in your mind in order to achieve results in reality.
Truly and deeply paying attention as you sit and enjoy your food leaves you feeling satisfied, even fulfilled, so you are unlikely to consume in ways that are not genuinely healthy.
This is the opposite of a quick weight-loss diet. You won’t “see the pounds melt away,” as so many plans and products promise, but most people who sincerely apply this technique are deeply satisfied with the results.
Alternatives to Mindful eating
Is this something you could see working for you? If not, you could try many other healthy eating and diet programmes. Here are some plans I have shared with lots of information to get you started!
- Slimming World
- Weight Watchers, now known as WW
- Second Nature, formally known as Our Path
- Lighter Life
- Weight loss surgery
- Ketogenic diet
- Do the Unthinkable from Musclefood
- Just be sure to avoid some of these crazy diets and beware of fake weight loss photos!
Click below if you would like to download my free trackers to help you with whatever plan you choose!