Nurturing Mindfulness Around Eating

Nurturing Mindfulness Around Eating

By Helen Duyvestyn, Holistic Health Practitioner at the BePure Clinic

As the days get cooler, we tend to be at home more, we might have fewer distractions and for some of us we have increased feelings of anxiety or other challenging emotions. How we feel can affect the way we eat.

In such times, food can be—let’s face it—a wonderful distraction.

And this can cause us to feel frustrated with our best laid plans to ‘eat well’ over lock-down.

Mindful eating can be a way of encouraging awareness of what you are eating and what emotions or feelings may be driving your desire to eat.

Eating mindfully has been shown to help people regulate their weight, encourage better food choices, and enjoy their food more. Paying attention to what and how we’re eating can really enhance our connection with food.

Asking the question, ‘am I even hungry?’ before we decide to eat a snack may prevent us from the mindless desire of snacking that can seemingly take over our bodies and make us head to the fridge or pantry. 

Eating is such an enjoyable process and a wonderful time to just take a moment. We often miss out on experiencing the pleasure that eating provides.

Eating is such an enjoyable process and a wonderful time to just take a moment. We often miss out on experiencing the pleasure that eating provides.

Here are my are three favourite tips to grow the ‘mindful eating’ muscle: 

1. Mindful eating starts with the preparation of food

With our increased time at home and less eating at cafes and restaurants, we are spending a lot more time in the kitchen—here is a place to get enjoyment out of food preparation. We can really get involved with the textures, the colours, the smells and notice the appreciation of what we have and what we may be about to eat.

2. Take time

As well as spending a little more time on prep, we can slow down and enjoy the actual delight of eating. Before you even pop that first tasty morsel in your mouth, just stop. Bring yourself to the now—the present moment—appreciate what you have in front of you, before heading to the next step.

3. Pay attention 

When you are eating, notice the smells, the colours, the textures, the temperature and of course the taste.

How does it actually taste? Have you noticed these flavours before?

Chew slowly,—close your eyes if it helps—and spend a few seconds ‘being with’ your food.

Put your fork /spoon down in between each mouthful. Notice how the food feels in your tummy. Does it feel warm? Does it feel heavy? 

It’s important in this process to become a ‘mindful observer’—reserving any judgements about whether the food is ‘good’ or ‘bad’, whether it did or didn’t turn out like you expected or any other judgements.

Mindful eating helps us to create a deeper mind-body connection—and may bring back a simple but lost pleasure of true food satisfaction.

Disclaimer: This blog post is for educational purposes only. It is not designed to diagnose, treat or cure. We are all unique, for your individual health concerns it is important to discuss these with a BePure Holistic Health Consultant or relevant health professional.