Mindful eating is a phrase that gets thrown around quite a bit, especially when it comes to weight loss. However, mindful eating is not a weight loss solution. While it may result in weight loss for some, it’s so much more than just a diet or weight loss tactic.
Instead, mindful eating is a natural, healthy and pleasurable way of eating and satisfying hunger.
We eat on the run, while working and watching television, so hurried and distracted that we don’t taste what we’re eating and most times we don’t realize how the food we’re eating is affecting our bodies until after we’ve eaten beyond the point of satiety.
Mindful eating is the solution to this, but it’s not a quick fix. Just like yoga, it takes practice and time to break old habits. Eating with intention and awareness requires you to genuinely pay attention to what you’re eating: noticing the taste, texture and smell of your food, chewing slowly, savoring each individual bite of food before moving on to the next.
But it’s not just about the food, it also involves paying attention to your body and your mind:
- Noticing sensations of fullness hunger, and satisfaction
- Paying attention to how you feel when you’re eating, and after – bloated, gassy, etc.
- Understanding how food affects your mood – do certain foods make you feel more anxious or depressed?
If mindful eating is something you’d like to try, start here:
The next time you sit down to eat, look at your plate and notice what you see – what colors are on your plate?
Take a deep breath. This will help relax your body, which is great for digestion, but also gives you the opportunity to smell your food.
When you finally take a bite, chew slowly and notice the temperature and texture of your food.
Continue eating, stopping to check in with yourself along the way. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I enjoying what I’m eating?
- Do I want more or have I had enough?
- Do I feel nourished and satisfied?
Your old habits of eating may be hard to break, but remember that lasting change takes time. The more you practice eating mindfully, the easier it will become.
Last week, we met with celebrity chef Amanda Freitag to learn more about mindful eating and how can we use it to change the way we use and enjoy food.
Amanda prepared an amazing menu (100% Parsley approved!) of Buckwheat Stuffed Peppers, Kale and Tomato Stew, Roasted Squash and Arugula Salad and roasted salmon.
You can check out some of the pictures below: