Mindful Eating

Have you ever had the feeling that you just ate a lot of food and you weren’t even really hungry?  Did you just demolish an entire meal without really tasting a single bite?  It’s happened to the best of us and probably not because we were literally starving.  Eating without paying attention to what we are actually doing, also known as mindless eating, can wreak havoc on your digestion.  Not to mention your waistline.  It is not unusual to mistake feelings of anxiety, sadness, or stress for hunger.  In fact, it’s often portrayed in the media as a way to cope with these feelings.  Unfortunately, this unhealthy habit has become ingrained in our subconscious so much so that we often don’t even realize we are doing it.  Learning how to do mindful eating is the answer!

How do we counter mindless eating and turn it into Mindful Eating?

It’s all about tuning into our bodies!  Before you sit down to eat, ask yourself a series of questions like:

  • “Am I really hungry?”
  • “What is it that I’m feeling right now?”
  • “Why do I feel this way?”
  • “Is food really what I’m looking for?”
  • “Is eating the proper answer to what I’m feeling or is there a more appropriate activity?”

Be honest with yourself when you answer these questions.  There is no need to judge yourself, just be honest and allow how you are truly feeling to guide your next action.

If you are feeling anxious, sad, or stressed, eating is not the answer.  When you are having these sorts of feelings, your body is most likely going to be in a fight or flight response, activating the sympathetic nervous system.  This is not a good time to eat because your body has turned off digestion to focus its energies on the current situation/stressor. Here are a few activities that will help reverse the current feelings more appropriately than eating:

  • Deep belly breathing
  • Laughing to get more oxygen into your blood
  • Moving your body
  • Meditating
  • Taking a nap
  • Doing Yoga

The key to mindful eating is to get your body into a mode of relaxation, sometimes referred to as activating the parasympathetic nervous system or the “rest and digest” mode.  When your body is in this state, it is more capable of digesting and assimilating food.  This not only benefits your digestive system, but it also benefits your waistline.  When your body is properly digesting the food you are eating it is able to send the proper signals to your brain to tell you when you are full.  This helps to prevent over-eating which helps you fit into those jeans.

When you are truly hungry, take a few deep breaths and enjoy your meal.  Turn off the distractions (smart phone, tv, etc) and really take the time to savor your meal.  Use all 5 senses to experience what you are eating.  See the colors, smell the flavors, hear it sizzle, feel the texture, and of course, taste it!  Slowing down and remaining fully present with your food will not only improve your digestion, it will also be far more satisfying!

Check out the video and tune in to slow down!

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments, I love hearing from you! Spread the Love and Share this with someone!

Check out the other Singing Nutrition Coach videos!

Curious about what the all the different labels on Egg cartons really mean?

If you would like to learn more about mindful eating, then Transformational Nutrition Coaching could help!

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Disclaimer: The information in this post is not intended as medical advice, or to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional. Marcelle encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research, and in partnership with your doctor, licensed dietitian, or nutritionist. The information provided in this post and the entire contents of www.marcellephene.com are based upon the opinions of Marcelle Phene and are for general educational purposes, and have not been reviewed nor approved by the FDA. You are solely responsible for your health care and activity choices.

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