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Mindful or Mind Full?

Discovering a Better Relationship with Your Food to manage chronic pain, lifestyle diseases (such as Diabetes, Obesity and CVD), depression, sleeping problems, and anxiety.


The term “mindfulness” was defined by Jon Kabat-Zinn as “paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally”.

Mindfulness is a practice based on Zen Buddhism, which is a way of self-calming and a method of changing eating behaviours.


Likewise, “mindful eating” encourages us to gain awareness of our eating experiences.


Mindful eating is being incorporated into behaviour change programs with recommended dietary modifications and lifestyle changes. Healthy eating is about more than just the foods you eat. You have to be aware of your eating habits and enjoy your food and mindful eating is a method of encouraging someone to take good care of him or herself and to gain awareness of our eating experiences.

 

Mindful eating is about recreating that “first bite” delight in each bite of your food.

 

Mindful eating is about recreating that “first bite” delight in each bite of your food. When your mind is disengaged from eating, you are not satisfied and seek out more food, even when you are full.

When you connect with your eating experience, reflect on the source of the food, those who prepared it, those eating around you, and the sensations in your body, you will feel more satisfied regardless of what or how much you are eating.

Mindful eating can make anyone’s eating healthier and more nurturing, regardless of weight or nutritional status.

The practice of mindfulness has helped thousands of people to live more intentionally and develop the skills necessary to manage chronic pain, lifestyle diseases (such as Diabetes, Obesity and CVD), depression, sleeping problems, and anxiety. It also has become the focus of an approach to eating that fulfils the criteria necessary in changing one’s overall approach to eating. Mindfulness is a process-oriented, rather than an outcome-driven, behaviour.


Am I Hungry?

A huge part of mindful eating is being aware, that is, not eating as a reflex. When you feel hunger, pause, and bring awareness to that moment. Perhaps your mind/body/spirit needs something other than food to nourish it. Breathe deeply a few times, and do your best to determine the source of your appetite.

 

A huge part of mindful eating is being aware, that is, not eating as a reflex.

 

Mind Hunger

Thoughts such as “I should eat less fat,” “I should eat more at lunch because I may not have time to make dinner tonight,” and “I deserve an ice cream“ are examples of mind hunger. What your mind tells you changes based on the latest scientific study or your life situation. It can cause you to get caught up in extremes of “eat this, not that,” habits which can’t be sustained long term.


When we eat based upon the thoughts in the mind, our eating is usually based on worry. This form of hunger cannot be satisfied by food but is satisfied when we quiet our minds.


Meditation for Mindful Eating

Meditation can help you become aware of your physical body as well as your emotional state so that you can bring your mind and body into balance.


Meditation allows you to see cravings for what they are, emotionally charged thoughts.


Just like we can learn to watch our thoughts and let them go when we meditate, we also can learn to bring awareness to cravings. We simply notice them, knowing they will eventually pass. Very often we eat because it's meal time, not because we are paying attention to our body's cues. Are you feeling anxious, angry, bored? These are a few many reasons we eat, but most have nothing to do with being hungry. When we are feeling anxious, we may be releasing cortisol that can increase our appetite. It can also affect our food preferences, causing us to crave fat- and sugar-filled options. Keeping our stress levels under control by meditating can help us counterbalance our stress response.


Mindful Eating Techniques to practice

  • Check-In - How hungry am I on a scale of 1 to 10? Gauging your hunger level is a little like taking your temperature?

 

Every time you eat, ask yourself, “Am I hungry?” Aim to eat until you are satisfied, leaving yourself neither stuffed nor starving.

 
  • Eating with people is much better than eating in front of the television or games because you will talk about things that make you happy.

  • Mindful Bites - Have you ever had an entire plate of food and not tasted one single bite? Bring all of your senses to the dinner table. Breathe in the aroma of a fresh loaf of bread. Notice the texture of yoghurt on your tongue. Truly taste your meal. Experience each bite from start to finish. You should take the time to chew slowly so that your food can improve digestion.

  • Attentive Eating - Sure, you’re busy and have a lot “on your plate.” It’s hard to make eating a priority rather than an option or side task. If you get the urge for a snack while doing your homework or studying, stop and take a break so that you can give eating 100% of your attention. Try to avoid multitasking while you eat. When you eat, just eat

  • You are also more likely to try new and different foods when you eat with other people.

  • You should take the time to chew slowly so that your food can digest.

  • You can enjoy your food by going shopping for fresh ingredients and practising label reading motivates you to eat healthily.

  • Learning about food by talking about it with Nutritionists and health coaches will help you to make healthier choices too.

  • Mindful Eating Support - Friends provide an enormous amount of support, but often it’s helpful to obtain assistance or a second opinion from a trained professional. If you would like to learn more about mindful eating, or if you have concerns about your eating habits get support from your Health coaches.

  • Learn or do yoga with Meditation to improve self-awareness and self-calming techniques which will help in eating right.

Sign up for a free consultation with our Health Coach to further understand the topic and take quick tips to change your life positively.

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