What is Mindfulness?
It is deliberately paying attention and being fully aware of what is happening both inside (your body, heart and mind) and outside yourself (your environment) Mindfulness is awareness without criticism or judgement.
What is Mindful Eating?
Simply put, when we are eating mindfully, we are giving full attention to your experience inside and outside the body while eating. Instead of just putting food into your mouth, not really tasting the food you’re eating … you notice your thoughts, feelings, and sensations.
To make things easier, you can try to think of mindful eating in terms of three areas:
1. The Food
The physical properties of food - Things, like colours, smells, textures, flavours. Notice these things while you enjoy each bite.
2. The Body
How does your body feel? We are also putting attention to how your body feels... before and after eating. Do you feel satisfied, too full, still hungry?
3. The Mind
Avoiding judgement and criticism. Watch when your mind gets distracted from eating and you go to grab your cell phone or book. Make a conscious effort to return to just eating. Think about the food you are enjoying, where it came from and be proud you are nourishing you body with wholesome and healthy food.
Positive Impacts of Mindful Eating
So why bother? I asked the same thing. Here are some of the benefits I found.
- You learn to eat when you’re hungry, and stop when you’re full
- You notice and enjoy the taste of healthy food
- Being present while eating can start to carry into other aspects of your life.
- You learn how food affects your mood and energy throughout the day
Give It A Try!
It's not easy, the first few times I tried it found it hard not to check an email, text someone or put on some music,. My suggestion is to start with small steps. Also, a deliciously prepared meal always helps :)
Start with some of these ideas....
- When you make your next coffee or tea, take the first sips with full attention.
- Put down your cell phone/book, turn off your music while eating and just be present.
- Have one meal alone and eat mindfully in silence... see what happens.