Today in my nutritional coaching course I read something that I wanted to share with all of you. It sounds so simple but it truly makes complete sense and I think it is important to highlight.

Mindful Eating is becoming very popular as a method encouraging individuals to use their inner wisdom to find joyfulness in the preparation and consumption of food. Sounds so simple right? It is and it is not.

Mindfulness has roots in Buddhist and other contemplative traditions and is defined as “the state of being attentive to and aware of what is taking place in the present”  This is where it gets simple but we take it for granted. If we are not aware we are more likely to behave compulsively or automatically and may not be behaving in our best interests. Things that can pull us away from awareness of the present can be absorption in the past, fantasies, anxieties about the future, preoccupation and negative feelings such as anger and jealousy.  If we want to practice mindful eating we need to try and replace mindless eating with conscious awareness.  This will allow us to recognize the pleasure of our eating experience. OK I know I might have lost you but I beg you to stay with me. I will break it down for you. Again I know this may sound so simple but I have studied behavior for a long time and just recently have discovered how much behavior and thinking our interfering with the way we eat.

Here are some simple and yes I said simple components of mindful eating. Please just take a moment to read them over and give them a shot. Let me know your thoughts.

Eat slowly– Periodically take breaks during your eating to breathe and access fullness.
Focus on eating-Remove distraction; do not eat in the car or while watching TV or working on the computer (Ugh this is a tough one for me but I am going to work on it)
Recognize inner cues-Use feelings of hunger and fullness to guide eating rather than a defined diet plan. (this is a huge point, eat whole eat clean food and pay attention to your tummy)
Eat nonjudgmentally-Acknowledge likes, dislikes and neutral feelings about food without judgment.
Be aware of senses– Use all your senses to explore, savor and taste food.
Be in the present– Focus on the direct experiences associated with food and eating, not distant outcomes.
Reflect on mindless eating-Be aware of and reflect on the effects caused by unmindful eating (eating out of boredom or frustration, eating to the point of fullness)
Recognize interconnectedness– Recognize an interconnection of the earth, living beings, and cultural practices and the impact of food choices on those systems.
Practice meditation– Make meditation practice a part of your life.

I hope this helps some of you. I know that it reminded me of some things I need to focus on.

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