Mindful eating at home

Are You Eating Mindfully? What Is Mindful Eating and How to Make It Work for You

Every so often there’s a new health trend that comes out of the blue and sounds a bit, well, hippy dippy.

That’s kind of how you initially felt about the concept of Mindful Eating, but after doing a bit of digging into this latest wellness vogue, we realised that there may be something to this one.

Something that just makes sense.

Of course, the idea of mindfulness has been kicking about for a while now with psychologists praising the practice for:

lowering stress levels, reducing harmful ruminating, and protecting against depression and anxiety. Research even suggests that mindfulness can help people better cope with rejection and social isolation.

Source – Psychology Today

But how can this wellness technique translate to food, and why, really, should you care about it?

Also, what is it?!

Well, to answer that last one quickly - mindful eating is a practice that involves paying full attention to the experience of eating and drinking, both inside and outside the body. It is more than just focusing on what you eat; it is about how you eat and the way you think about food.

According to the experts, in a world of fast-paced lifestyles and hectic schedules, mindful eating is a powerful tool that can help individuals cultivate a more balanced and healthy relationship with food.

By bringing awareness and attention to the act of eating, mindful eating encourages you to savour each bite, make intentional food choices, and listen to your body's hunger and fullness cues.

That last bit would explain why mindful eating has suddenly exploded on the weight loss scene, but we’ll address that more later in the article…

The Concept of Mindful Eating

Mindful Eating

Mindful eating is NOT a diet – just going to put this out there now before there can be any confusion.

We all have those mindless eating habits that keep us stuck in a food cycle. Think about it – do you “need” to have the biscuit with every cup of tea? How about that wee bun after dinner for pudding every night? Or checking out your snack cupboard 15 times an hour when you’re bored or stressed?

Being aware of these habits and their triggers can help you change your relationship with food for good.

You see, mindful eating is a practice rooted in mindfulness, a form of meditation that involves being fully present and engaged in the moment.

Unlike traditional eating habits, which often involve mindlessly consuming food while distracted by external stimuli, mindful eating invites you to slow down and bring your complete attention to the eating experience.

The core principles of mindful eating include cultivating awareness of physical and emotional sensations related to food, fostering a sense of gratitude and appreciation for nourishment, and approaching food choices with non-judgmental curiosity.

The Importance of Mindful Eating in Weight Loss

There’s no doubt about it, embracing mindful eating can have a profound impact on your overall health and well-being, including weight loss.

Supporters of the concept believe that by slowing down and paying attention to the act of eating, you can improve your digestion, better your appreciation for food, and develop a healthier relationship with eating.

Mindful eating is even linked to improved portion control and food choices, as it allows you to tune into your body's signals of hunger and fullness, reducing the likelihood of overeating or making unhealthy food choices, which in turn may lead to weight loss.

Some other health benefits include:

  • Reducing binge and emotional eating
  • Reducing snacking
  • Diabetes management
  • Chronic eating disorder help

Source: Psychology Today – What Is Mindful Eating

How to Practice Mindful Eating

Credit: Headspace, www.youtube.com/@headspace 

One of the reasons why people can be put off by mindfulness in general, especially if they’re busy individuals with busy lives and busy heads, is it forces you to stop and sit in the moment.

But, incorporating mindful eating into your daily routines does not have to be complex or time-consuming.

Simple practices such as pausing before eating to express gratitude for the meal, focusing on the colours and textures of food, and chewing slowly to savour each bite can help you cultivate mindfulness at mealtimes.

This also helps you develop awareness of hunger and satiety cues which are vital in practicing mindful eating, as it encourages you to eat in response to physical hunger rather than emotional triggers.

  • Eating more slowly so you don't rush your meals.
  • Chew thoroughly.
  • Eliminating distractions; for example, turning off the TV and putting down your phone.
  • Eating in silence.
  • Focusing on how the food makes you feel.
  • Stopping eating when you’re full.
  • Asking yourself why you’re eating, whether you’re truly hungry, and whether the food you chose is nutritious.

Source: Healthline - Mindful Eating 101 — A Beginner’s Guide

What Other Benefits Does Mindful Eating Have?

Calm Lifestyle

Research suggests that the connection between mindful eating and mental health is a significant aspect of this practice with incredible benefits.

By simply bringing awareness to your eating habits, you can better manage stress, anxiety, and emotional eating patterns.

That’s down to the fact that mindful eating encourages you to pause and reflect on your food choices and supports a more balanced and positive relationship with eating.

By nourishing your body with intention and attention, you can cultivate a sense of inner peace and well-being.

And let’s face it – in todays fast paced world we could all do with a bit of inner peace – right?!

Final Thoughts...

Mindful eating offers a powerful framework for redefining your relationship with food and cultivating a more balanced and healthy lifestyle.

By embracing the principles of mindfulness at mealtimes, you can transform the act of eating into a mindful and nourishing experience.

The potential of mindful eating as a tool for improving digestion, enhancing psychological well-being and fostering a positive relationship with food is immense. By integrating mindful eating into your daily lives, you can embark on a journey toward greater health, happiness, and self-awareness.


Ashleigh Tosh

Ashleigh - writer by day, reader by night, self-professed foodie at all times... A former broadcast journalist, she's been writing for the health & wellness industry for over 10 years and is passionate about all things food & fitness. When she's not clickety-clacking on the keyboard, you can find her in the gym, in the kitchen or up a Munro.

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