Is it about what we eat, or is it about how we eat?
Mindful eating is a style of eating that goes beyond what is on your plate and encourages one to pay attention to the moment-to-moment experience of eating. This practice is based on Zen Buddhism and has become a popular way to self-calm and change one’s eating habits.
Mindful eating focuses on individuals’ sensual awareness of the food and their experience of the food. It has little to do with calories, carbohydrates, fat, or protein intake. The purpose of mindful eating is not to lose weight - although it is likely that those who adopt this style of eating will. The intention is to help individuals savor the moment and the food while becoming more aware of the thoughts and sensations that arise while eating. Mindful eating is a great stepping stone towards intuitive eating.
So, how can you eat more mindfully?
Don’t Judge. Mindful eating is not about being perfect. Try to not judge yourself when you are not eating the right things or eating on the go.
Patience. It is obvious that one must be patient to eat mindfully. Slow down, make eye contact with your food, smell the flavor, chew it a few extra times, and savor the moment with no distractions.
Give gratitude. Reflect on where the food came from and give thanks for the nourishment it is providing your body.
Letting Go. Mindful eating encourages us to let go of the all-or-nothing mindset around eating and any past expectations.
Be Curious. Mindful eating is about eating with intent. Are you eating because you are bored, stressed, or emotional? Or, are you eating because you need fuel and nutrients?
Mindful eating can help to free yourself from reactive patterns around food and eating. It also not only nourishes the body properly but the heart and soul. All these benefits empower healthier lifestyle choices, inner wisdom and a positive relationship within yourself.