There has been a lot of talk about Mindful Eating over the last few years, particularly as a means to decrease emotional eating, but what does that mean? I will break it down for you….
1). There are no good and bad foods. Let me repeat that. There are NO good or bad foods. Letting go of the concept of good or bad foods allows you to let go of the idea that you are good or bad based on eating certain foods.
2). You eat with purpose. This means that you eat when you are hungry. Strive to only eat when you are hungry because if you start when you aren’t, how do you know when to stop.
3). Pay attention. Pay very close attention to your food. Notice how it looks, smells and savor the taste and texture. Really take the time to enjoy what you are eating.
4). Slow down. We live in a busy culture. We do several things at once and we tend to miss things when we move too quickly. When we eat fast, we eat more. It is that simple. By slowing the process down, you allow your brain to catch up with your stomach.
5). Let go of the guilt. If you have followed these principles, you are unlikely to feel guilt, but in the event you do, allow yourself to let it go. I believe that feeling guilt for eating is like feeling guilt for breathing oxygen. Both are needed to survival.
Often the response I get when I introduce this concept to clients is a fear that it will mean they lose control over eating. The reality is that if you aren’t eating mindfully, you probably aren’t in control now. By engaging in mindful eating, it allows you more freedom from emotional eating and binge eating. Try using these skills and just notice what happens. Give it time and allow yourself to practice!