How Mindful Eating Can Change Your Relationship With Food
Have you tried everything you can think of to say goodbye to cravings with no luck whatsoever? With mindful eating, you don’t need to spend so much energy on crushing your cravings completely.
A Few Reasons Why Mindful Eating Can Work So Well
While mindful eating can help with weight loss, there are plenty of reasons to adopt a more mindful approach to your eating habits, even if you’re not actively looking to slim down. From getting a handle on emotional eating to improving your digestion, mindful eating can have some impressive, lasting benefits.
Benefit 1: Less Potential for Overeating
Eating at a slower pace gives more time for signals to pass between your stomach and brain – namely the ones that tell you when you’re full. It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of eating “mindlessly,” which often means that before you know it, you’ve eaten a lot of calories and still don’t feel full.
When you eat mindfully and take time with your meals and snacks, it is easier for your body to recognize when you’re full. Tapping into your body’s natural hunger cues makes overeating a lot less likely. This is another great reason to avoid eating in front of the television or when reading on your smartphone!
Benefit 2: Getting to the Bottom of Emotional Eating Triggers
What makes you crave junk food? Often, it has nothing to do with hunger and everything to do with emotions. When you get the urge to snack, mindful eating gives the perfect platform to take a step back and ask yourself how you’re feeling and what emotions may be playing a part in your cravings. Being super mindful with your eating gives you a lot more opportunity to delve deeper into emotional eating triggers so you can recognize patterns and take action.
Benefit 3: Trusting Yourself to Make Healthy Food Choices
When it comes to cravings, you’ll often hear advice to remove unhealthy foods from your home to avoid falling victim to temptation. This can help when you’re first getting the hang of mindful eating and taking steps to change your eating habits, but it’s not necessarily something you’ll need to stick with in the long term.
Once you can get the hang of mindful eating, you can develop more trust in your ability to make healthy food choices, even when there are some not-so-healthy options around. It’s about building a better relationship with food in the long term.
When you feel more in charge of how you respond to your cravings, it becomes a lot easier to satisfy yourself with just a few bites, rather than quickly overeating. And sometimes, you’ll just lose the appetite for junk food altogether! (I know it’s hard to believe, but true.)
Slowing down your eating can make you much more appreciative of the tastes and textures of your food, and you may notice, when it comes to processed food, you may not enjoy it as much as you did when you were eating less mindfully.
Benefit 4: Encouraging You to Live in the Moment
Do you find it hard to be in the present moment? Mindful eating can be a great way to practice present moment awareness. Tuning into your eating habits regularly gets you into the habit of being in the present and, over time, it becomes a lot easier to master. If you’re looking for a way to include more mindfulness in your day, mindful eating is a great choice.
Benefit 5: Less Bloating and Indigestion
Struggling with bloating, indigestion and other digestive problems? This is yet another area where mindful eating can have positive effects. Eating at a much slower pace means there is less potential for bloating and other digestive discomfort. The main reason? You swallow less air. Also, chewing each bite thoroughly before you swallow breaks your food down into really small pieces for better digestion. The end result? Far more potential for a happy gut!
A few tips for making sure that you stay truly mindful when you’re eating:
- Check in with your body while you’re eating and ask yourself how you feel. One of the best things to ask is how full you’re feeling. When you ask this question, the break from eating can help you to recognize that you might be feeling fuller than you realized.
- Sit down (preferably at a table) when you eat, even if you’re only having a quick snack. Putting your sole focus on your food makes it easier to be mindful.
- Notice the tastes, textures and smells linked to what you’re eating. It can help to keep your eyes closed when you take that first bite and let your senses take over.
- Take deep, calming breaths between bites. When you’re used to eating fast, you’ll often barely breathe in between bites, but taking a bit of time to slow things down can help you be more mindful.
If you are curious how you can build mindful eating in your life for a healthier, more vibrant you, contact me. I would love to talk with you about the power of intuitive and mindful eating.
Stephanie Lewis is a National Board certified health & wellness coach, certified mindfulness meditation instructor, licensed Am I Hungry? mindful eating facilitator and coach, and Qigong Practice Leader (and practicing attorney) passionate about helping people suffering from overwhelm reduce stress. Her offerings, whether group or personalized, focus on stilling the mind, moving the body, and being present in your daily life to honor your needs.
Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.
Mindfulness Coach and Mentor
I am a National Board certified health & wellness coach, certified mindfulness meditation instructor, licensed Am I Hungry? mindful eating facilitator and coach, and Qigong Practice Leader (and practicing attorney) passionate about helping people suffering from overwhelm reduce stress. Her offerings, whether group or personalized, focus on stilling the mind, moving the body, and being present in your daily life to honor your needs. Through my company, LiveWellFlow, I have coached professionals to help them... Continue Reading
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