Mindfulness & Mindful Eating

Mindfulness – we have heard the word thrown around a lot in recent times. So, what exactly is mindfulness and how can we incorporate it into our everyday lives, particularly when it comes to eating?

Mindfulness is defined as “the practice of maintaining a non-judgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). Mindfulness ultimately encourages us to be less reactive and more responsive, whereby we can cultivate a sense of space and respond to cues. Mindfulness gives us a chance to pause and assess our options. It fundamentally opens space for choice. Mindfulness is also about reserving judgement and fostering curiosity and compassion.

To take it a step further, we can extend the practice and concepts of Mindfulness to Mindful Eating. Mindful Eating is defined by the Centre for Mindful Eating as, “allowing yourself to become aware of the positive and nurturing opportunities that are available through food selection and preparation by respecting your own inner wisdom. By using all your senses in choosing to eat food that is both satisfying to you and nourishing to your body, acknowledging your responses to food (likes, dislikes or neutral) without judgement, and becoming aware of physical hunger and satiety cues to guide your decisions.”

Contrary to popular belief, Mindful Eating is not another ‘tool’ to control, fix or avoid food/eating and is by no means a ‘dieting strategy’. Mindful Eating is rather a way to build awareness of your thoughts, feelings and physical sensations related to eating. Try to think about mindful eating as a way to minimise distractions, for example phones, tablets, TV, radio. A good place to start Mindful Eating practice is by listening to this wonderful podcast which delves much deeper into the concepts of mindful eating principles: click here

Further reading:
– The Mindful Dietitian
– The Centre for Mindful Eating

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