What is Mindful Eating?

MINDFUL EATING.


What is this and how can it benefit us?


Mindful eating is paying attention to what we are eating on purpose without judgement. In essence, mindful eating means being fully attentive to your food—as you buy, prepare, serve, and consume it.



It’s an approach to food and eating that focuses on awareness and the experience of eating rather than judgement, restricting, rules or counting.


Sounds awesome right?


I agree. This practice of mindful eating can take a bit to adapt to and that’s okay. That’s why it’s a practice. Do your best, make a few adjustments on the way and be compassionate with yourself.


Here are a few ideas to get you started:


While you eat, tune into your senses, savour your food and try going off autopilot and be all in with what you are tasting

Notice your hunger and/or appetite to build awareness

Try eating slower or eating in silence or with quiet music or in nature

Appreciate your food and where it came from



Mindful eating will help transform our relationship with food over time from a holistic point of view.

It will help us understand what foods make us feel good, which ones nourish us, help us to appreciate our food while also building new freedom around food as we let go of the rules and judgement we once had.


What mindful eating isn't?


restricting

no counting or calculating numbers of any kind

not a diet

not a fad nor a quick fix for anything


Mindful eating can be used as a guide to help you invite you back into the present and improve your awareness about what you and your body want and need regarding food, pleasure, etc. The focus is no longer on rules, restrictions, eliminating foods or on your weight as a goal.



When we are more aware of what we are eating and how we feel before, during and after we might be more empowered to make choices that are better for us or continue to make choices that nourish us. When we are more aware of our patterns of eating and have gained this clarity in this calmer mindset, we can be more compassionate with ourselves on the days when we find ourselves leaning on food for emotional reasons.


Comment below if you have tried mindful eating or if you are going to try this approach.


Email me if you like this subject and want to hear more about building body confidence and food freedom.


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Author notes: I’d like to recognize the privileges that have impacted my health and perspectives. I identify as cisgender, able-bodied, I was raised middle class, I am college educated, I have thin privilege, have access to health care and insurance, I have benefited from being in a straight passing relationship and I benefit from being identified as being white.


I have thin privilege. I believe it’s key to have open discussions about this topic to help bring awareness of it and to also reduce the stigma around weight.

By acknowledging thin privilege, we can recognize that people in smaller bodies have not had experienced or been exposed to stigmatizing events that people in larger bodies have.


By recognizing my many privileges and having these important conversations I hope to help fight the oppressive systems of fatphobia and diet culture and other systems that impact underserved and marginalized communities.


I acknowledge that the land on which I live and work is the traditional and unceded territory of the Abegweit Mi’kmaq First Nation.