Eating can be a tricky thing. With so many messages around us telling us what we should and shouldn’t eat, it’s hard to know how to make good decisions for ourselves. That’s why mindful eating is so important. Mindful eating is about making intentional choices that focus on your health and wellbeing, instead of just following the latest fad diet or trends.
What Is Mindful Eating?
Mindful eating is all about being present in the moment when you’re making food decisions. It’s not about eliminating certain foods or counting calories—it’s about understanding how different foods make you feel, and learning to listen to your body’s hunger cues. When you practice mindful eating, you’re able to recognize when you are physically hungry (or full) and respond accordingly. You learn to savor each bite of food, and enjoy each meal without feelings of guilt or shame.
How Can I Start Practicing Mindful Eating?
The first step in practicing mindful eating is to become aware of your current habits and patterns around food. Take a few minutes each day to check in with yourself before meals and snacks—ask yourself if you’re actually hungry or if there is something else going on that has caused this craving for food (boredom, stress, etc.). After checking in with yourself, take some time to really think about what kind of food would make you feel best right now—is it something light or something more filling? Once you’ve decided what kind of food will make you feel best, start focusing on the flavors, textures, smells of the food as you eat. The goal here is not necessarily to finish everything on your plate but rather focus on enjoying each bite while listening carefully to your body’s hunger signals.
Mindful eating isn’t just an approach that’s helpful for getting healthier—it’s also a powerful tool for self-care! When practiced regularly, mindful eating can help reduce feelings of guilt or shame often associated with “forbidden” foods while helping us stay connected with our bodies’ natural hunger cues and preferences. By taking time each day to check in with ourselves before meals and snacks we can learn how certain foods make us feel, allowing us to better nourish our bodies according to our individual needs! So next time you sit down for a meal—try taking a few moments first just for yourself!