I am super excited to share with you this fascinating blog from a wonderful friend and colleague of mine, the incredible Lori Weber from The Mindful Eating Clinic.
Lori is a true expert in her field and knows everything from eating disorders through eating psychology and nutrition to mindful and intuitive eating. In her blog she shares a few gems about mindful eating with You. Enjoy!
29th June 2022
Mindful eating is a way of improving awareness of how, why and what you eat, which brings proven health, eating behaviour and weight management benefits.
All too often food is something we grab quickly and eat without connecting with the process, the taste or how we feel about the food. We live fast lives, we have work pressures which steal our time or simply we think we need to be doing something else. We often don’t prioritise food in the same way as we give attention to other areas of our lives. The result is a growing habit of eating quickly and whilst doing something else. This means that we can make less healthy choices and we end up eating more than we need.
If you struggle with your weight, if you eat emotionally or suffer from irresistible cravings then mindful eating will certainly help you. It will encourage you to slow down, it will help you choose food which truly satisfies you and it will help you properly connect with the food you are eating. This means that food is more enjoyable and you are likely to eat less. But mindful eating goes further than that. Learning a mindful approach to your entire relationship with eating means that you start to understand the emotional and situational triggers behind what drives you to seek out food. Mindful eating is also about connecting with hunger so that you can really be clear whether you are eating because you need to or, for example, because you are feeling emotional. You slow down the thinking process, understand what’s really going on and then act accordingly. The slowness of eating also allows your body to tell you when you are full. How often do we eat quickly until the plate clear before we’ve even given it a second thought?
A study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association acknowledged the positive benefits of mindful eating:
“ Because mindful eating engenders awareness of why one eats, it may be a helpful weight loss or maintenance skill. For example, mindful eating skills could help clients to recognize and respond to satiety, or to recognize but not respond to inappropriate cues for eating such as advertising, boredom or anxiety. “
So how do you do it? With my clients, I start with a simple set of five S’s of mindful eating. These will also help guide you to begin the process and reap some benefits too:
Sit and really make a meal of whatever you are eating
Eat as slowly as you can
Savour and enjoy each mouthful
Choose a food which will satisfy you and stop when you no longer feel hungry
Smile – to enjoy food is a wonderful thing
Starting with these easy techniques will begin to increase your awareness about how, why and what you eat.
So, as we seem to want everything to happen faster, we actually need to do the opposite when it comes to the thinking and behaviour around the food we eat.
If you want to learn more about mindful eating in depth you can watch my free YouTube video here: https://youtu.be/MqkxrR1IzO0.
If you would like support for your eating behaviour then please feel free to book in for a no-obligation chat, the link is on my website: www.themindfuleatingclinic.com.
* Framson C, Kristal AR, Schenk JM, Littman AJ, Zeliadt S, Benitez D. Development and validation of the mindful eating questionnaire. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009;109(8):1439-1444. doi:10.1016/j.jada.2009.05.006