What is mindful eating?
When it comes to mindfulness, the first thing that we think about is mental well-being. Mindfulness is when you are aware and stay in the moment or go through a particular experience without judgment. Certain practices like yoga, meditation, and tai chi foster mindfulness. In particular, these help you train yourself to control your attention and awareness so you can manage other mental processes better. It also cultivates calmness and clarity. Mindfulness has also extended to eating practices, better known as mindful eating.
Mindless vs. mindful eating
Similar to the instances mentioned earlier, mindless eating is when you eat while you are preoccupied with something else or if you’re just not aware of how much food you’re actually eating. Certain factors come into play in mindless eating:
- Eating when not hungry. This happens when you’re bored and eating gives you something to do.
- Eating when distracted. This is eating while watching a movie, talking with somebody, scrolling through your phone (maybe even reading this article).
- Lack of awareness. When you’re not watching serving sizes, it’s easy to lose track to how much you’re eating.
- Emotional eating. In times of stress or sadness, some people turn to food for comfort.
- External factors. You might find yourself craving certain foods you see on web advertisements, commercials, or billboards.
Mindful eating, meanwhile, employs mindfulness as an approach to changing consumption habits. It means really paying attention to our food moment by moment without judging. It’s an approach that focuses on a person’s sensual awareness of the food and their experience of it. Important to keep in mind though is that this practice isn’t aimed at losing weight, but at helping someone become fully present while taking a meal.