Mindful eating is learning to pay attention. Instead of eating mindlessly, putting food into your mouth almost unconsciously, not really tasting the food you’re eating … you notice your thoughts, feelings, and sensations.
You learn to pay attention to:
* Why you feel like eating, and what emotions or needs might be triggering the eating.
* What you’re eating, and whether it is healthy or not.
* The look, smell, taste, feel of the food you’re eating.
* How it makes you feel as you taste it, as you digest it, and throughout the day.
* How full you are before, during and after eating.
* Your emotions during and after eating.
* Where the food came from, who might have grown it, whether it was grown organically, how much it was processed, how much it was fried or overcooked, etc.
1. You learn to eat when you’re hungry, and stop when you’re sated.
2. You learn to really taste food, and to enjoy the taste of healthy food.
3. You slowly start to realize that unhealthy food isn’t as tasty as you thought, nor does it make you feel very good.
4. As a result of the above three points, you will often lose weight if you’re overweight.
5. You begin to sort through the emotional issues you have around food and eating. This takes a bit longer, but it’s important.
6. Social overeating can become less of a problem — you can eat mindfully while socializing, with practice, and not overeat.
7. You begin to enjoy the eating experience more, and as a result enjoy life more, when you’re more present.
8. It can become a mindfulness ritual you look forward to.
9. You learn how food affects your mood and energy throughout the day.
10. You learn what food best fuels your exercise and work and play.
Again, there are other benefits, but these are some of the most important, in my experience.