What is mindful eating? This may sound like an easy enough concept, but it is anything but that. Mindful eating takes you to accept and acknowledge the emotions, thoughts, and physical sensations you experience without judging them. It can even extend to the act of eating it and preparing, buying, and serving the food as well.
People refer to mindful eating as a state of enlightenment. It is a practice in which you allow yourself to experience the ingredients, sounds, smells, and tastes in all their natural forms without holding in your emotions, thoughts, or senses. This practice can be practiced by anyone. Even if you are the quiet type who prefers to do things without judgment, you can benefit from mindful eating. You will come to appreciate the nourishing goodness of natural ingredients and the subtle changes they make to your experience. You will no longer feel guilty for enjoying the foods you eat.
Identify when you are full
The first step in mindful eating is learning to identify when you are full. By keeping a food log, tracking your eating over a period of a few weeks, or a month or so, you can see when you are satisfied and when you are still hungry. This will help you avoid overeating, which has often been linked with overeating in the form of obesity, which is often characterized by a feeling of constant hunger.
Manage your emotions
Another way to enjoy the benefits of mindful eating is to learn to manage your emotions. Anger and depression are often closely linked with overeating. If you can learn to cope with these negative feelings, you may not experience cravings as often. But even if you do not experience cravings, you might become aware of how other people’s emotions make you feel. This awareness can help you become more self-aware and can teach you how to change your eating habits to help reduce your cravings.
Consciously choose foods
You can also learn to eat mindfully by consciously choosing foods. Instead of automatically picking a plate of chips because you are hungry, choose an all-fruit smoothie instead. Or choose a veggie burger rather than a fried one. And try to pick up a new recipe for foods you usually avoid because you are afraid it will be too hard or time-consuming to prepare. For instance, making a spinach bisque sauce is very easy, but is definitely not something you might run into on a Friday night.
If you want to feel better emotionally and eat better, you should start a program called Emotional Eating by John Davenport. Davenport uses a series of spoken exercises and stories to help people overcome their negative emotions and fears around food. He believes that emotional eating is a major contributor to the weight problem and that a large number of overweight people have an emotional eating problem. Davenport has taken years to research this problem and has come up with some valuable tips and advice to help people break free of emotional eating.
The biggest tip Davenport gives is to start paying attention to your feelings and emotions rather than focusing on what you are eating. If you are watching tv while you are eating dinner, you may be distracted by what is being said on the TV. Instead of focusing on what is being said, focus on the actual experience of feeling hungry. With enough awareness, you will find yourself not only noticing your own thoughts and emotions but also the feelings and emotions of others as well.
A useful trick
Another great technique for mindful eating is to take one piece of raisins, crack it open and chew it thoroughly. The raisin must be chewed without distractions. The more you focus on what you are eating, the more you will realize when you are intentionally eating food or when you are not aware of what you are eating. This simple mindful eating technique can give you a new perspective on food and help you lose weight.