Holiday season is on its way. And before we know it, we are deeply engrossed in the culture, traditions, activities, and festivities that are part of it. It goes without saying that food and entertainment are integral part of the celebration. And as soon as the holidays are gone, the guilt of a few added pounds lingers on. As a follow up to our recent blog on Mindfulness, let’s explore the concept of Mindful Eating.
So, how does this concept of mindfulness apply to eating and why is it important?
Per a recent report from the U.S.Department of Agriculture, the average American spends two-and-a-half hours a day eating. And while we are eating, more than half the time, we’re doing something else like working, driving, reading, watching television, or fiddling with an electronic device. The act of eating becomes a passive one and we’re not fully aware of it. This is mindless eating and may be contributing to chronic health issues.
Mindful eating means being fully attentive to our food – as we buy, prepare, serve, and eat it. Listed below are core components of a mindfulness-based eating pattern:
- Cultivating Mindfulness: Developing skills and bringing them to the eating experience, such as directing attention to the act of eating, taking time to smell, taste, and enjoy food; being non-judgmental if slip-ups happen.
- Cultivating Mindful Eating: Putting above skills into action.
|Becoming familiar with feeling of hunger||Breathing exercises, body scan, hunger meditation and journaling|
|Developing awareness of taste satisfaction: savoring and enjoying food||Eating favorite foods such as chocolate, cheese and crackers, and paying attention to sensations, journaling|
|Making mindful choices based on both ‘liking’ and health||Choice: chips, cookies, or grapes. Reading labels. Pre-planning and managing social influences|
|Developing awareness of satiety (fullness)||Fullness awareness rating/scale during pot-luck dinner, favorite meal|
|Awareness of negative self-judgement related to eating||Identifying black and white thinking. Going to all-you-can-eat buffet and ‘surfing the urge’; experiencing “I blew it” mindset|
At Metta Weight Management, our users have access to an App that provides them access to helpful mindfulness-based exercises at the convenience of their finger tips.