You’re finally home after a very long day at the office. There were so many deadlines, meetings, and stressful issues to resolve. You walk in the, and the first thing you do is head to the refrigerator and begin eating because you feel famished. Once you’re finished, you notice you overate again…something that’s been happening almost every night.
Mindless eating occurs for many different reasons. It could be as described above as a response to anxiety and stress. Or perhaps you just broke up with your partner, and you come home, and the house is empty; you’re eating out of loneliness. Many times, it can be boredom, habit, or it’s 5:00 pm somewhere. Our thoughts drive our eating behavior around what, when, and how we eat.
Frequently when we eat, we are engaging in other activities, and we lose track of how much we are actually eating. Mindless eating occurs when we are sitting in front of the television, computer, reading, writing, or on our phone while eating. This type of eating catches up with you adding unwanted weight, and it’s simply caused by not paying attention.
The good news is that we can learn how to eat Mindfully. It’s a skill that is easy to learn, and in just a few steps, you can take back your power over how and what you eat. The basis is about awareness. Awareness of what you are eating and doing in the present moment.
The main focus of awareness is around how you eat, what you eat when you eat, and how much you eat. How you eat is about what else you are doing while you are eating. What you eat is about choosing foods that provide nourishment and vitality for your body. When you eat addresses, are you genuinely eating because you’re hungry? How much you eat is about learning to feel satiety and hunger truly.
We start by learning to tap into what our real physical hunger is. Real physical hunger begins in the body and travels to the brain, while a thought of hunger starts in the mind and travels to the body. Many times, our thoughts of hunger have nothing to do with our need for nourishment.
Part of the skills of mindful eating is learning discernment between thoughts of hunger and the feelings of real physical hunger. Thoughts of hunger may look like – It’s time for lunch, it’s 3 pm and snack time, I’m tired I need a pick-me-up, I need carbs to run, it’s 5 pm dinnertime…
With just a few simple strategies, you can be on your way to eating and feeling better.
Here are four tips to help you get started:
- Mindful eating requires tasting your food. Notice the colors, smell, and taste of what you are eating.
- Mindful eating requires choosing your food wisely. Notice when you make food choices if they are foods that will provide nourishment and vitality or make you feel lethargic and sleepy.
- Mindful eating is about sensing when you’ve had enough to eat.
- Mindful eating is about enjoying your food and not stressing over what you are eating and calorie content.
Mindfulness skills can help you stop eating your feelings. It’s all about understanding the link between our thoughts and feelings and what and how we eat.
To receive a free guidebook on mindful eating, visit DitchtheDietForLife.com.