Your guide to mindful eating and why you should try it

by Patrick Ibsen on Thursday 08 June 2023

3 min read

Eating with intention

Mindfulness, the incredibly popular form of meditation, has become a huge part of people’s lives, with many practicing it daily. But few people are aware of mindful eating – a subsection of mindfulness. In this article, we define what mindful eating is and describe the potential benefits.

What is mindful eating?

Mindful eating is based on the principles of having considered thought to how, when, and what you eat. Based on the Buddhist philosophy of mindfulness, the purpose of mindful eating is to help you acknowledge and cope with your emotional and physical state. It has been used by therapists to treat conditions such as eating disorders, depression and anxiety.

Why should you try mindful eating?

These days, we’re distracted by a lot of things during mealtimes. When was the last time you had a full meal without watching TV or scrolling through social media? If you’re uncertain, then you should consider giving mindful eating a try. You see, the brain doesn’t register how full we are while we’re eating. Instead, there’s a delay of about 20 minutes between when you’re actually full and when your brain is aware of it, and being distracted can exacerbate this. This can lead to over-eating.

What are some benefits of mindful eating?

When you slow down and eat mindfully, you’re paying more attention towards your food intake. Intentional, focused eating can help you to recognise your hunger being addressed more immediately, thus reducing over-eating. This can also help you distinguish between physical and emotional hunger. While that tub of ice cream might make you feel better emotionally, your body probably won’t appreciate it in the long run. Our article on hunger vs. cravings breaks this concept down into more detail.

How to practice mindful eating

Like most forms of meditation, mindful eating requires a bit of focus to complete, but the positive impacts can far out way the effort. Here are a few simple ways you can eat more mindfully:

  • Eat slowly: If your mum ever told you to slow down while eating, then she was on to something. It’s a great way to eat more mindfully.
  • Listen to your body: Think you can handle just a few more bites? Maybe you should wait a few minutes. It’s likely this will give your brain time to catch up to your stomach.
  • Eliminate distractions: Turn the TV off, put your phone away or on silent, sit down at the table, and tuck in.
  • Focus on your senses: Really make an effort to chew your food and enjoy the sensations that come with eating. The tastes, the smells, the sounds, it’s a feast for the senses!

Now you have the ability to enhance your eating habits and explore new ways of fostering a healthy relationship with food. This process may require time and effort but there's no need to fret, as we have a team of professionals who are well-versed on this topic and know exactly how to help. Consider reaching out to a Personal Trainer who can not only support your physical journey, but also offer invaluable assistance and encouragement with nutrition.

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