What is Mindful Eating?
Mindful eating uses the ancient art of mindfulness, or being present, to not only develop a meditative mind, but also help cope with digestive complaints and also reduce stress. It is another form of mindful meditation that does not involve sitting on the floor for hours in pain.
Best of all, mindful eating it is not another diet or fad. There are no menus, super foods or food restrictions. It is all about developing a new embodied awareness around food and the gift that each morsel brings to us in terms of sustenance and well-being. It has far reaching health benefits as well.
Mindful eating can help binge eaters as well as many other eating issues.
During the past 20 years, studies have found that mindful eating can help you:
1) Reduce overeating and binge eating
2) Lose weight and reduce your body mass index (BMI) resulting in longer life span and better health overall.
3) Cope with chronic eating problems such as anorexia and bulimia, and reduce anxious thoughts about food and your body and
4) Improve the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes
Intuitively, it makes sense that mindful eating is helpful to overeaters. Digestion is better, you become more aware of exactly how much you need to eat and portion size, and reduce negative automatic food habits like overeating while multi-tasking or watching TV.
How to practice:
1. Chew slowly – practice counting your chewing (10-20 chews)
2. Eat with you left hand – a great brain challenge that will slow you down.
3. Switch off all devices and remove all reading materials, so you can practice being mindful whilst eating.
4. Be mindful of all the feeling and taste sensations arising on the tongue (there are approximately 50 million neuron’s on the tip of the tongue alone so this is a great exercise to stimulate your brain!)
5. Be aware of any fixations around food, likes or dislikes. Try and become aware of the sensations and tastes, rather then judging a food as good or bad based on dietary information. When we judge a food as “bad” for us and create stress around consuming it, sometimes this is worse for our bodies than simply eating our cake and really enjoying it with our whole body.
6. If you was to train your brain into feeling full, practice neuroslimming. Try using a smaller plate and fill that plate rather then placing a small amount of food on a larger plate.
Listen to my ABC radio interview on Mindful Eating and also a downloadable link to a 10 DAY MINDFUL EATING CHALLENGE on their website HERE
Learn more on mindful eating HERE