The Benefits of Mindful Eating

30 June 2015 | Written by Xenia Ayiotis

Filed Under: Mindful Eating

There are many benefits to eating mindfully and I would like to share some of them with you!

Connection and trust with your body 
Mindful Eating connects us to our body’s hunger and satisfaction cues. We learn to become aware of physical signs of hunger and fullness in our stomach and look for those signs to guide us to start eating and the signs of comfortable fullness or satisfaction to stop eating.

Awareness of different types of hungers 
Eating mindfully creates awareness around the different types of hungers we experience: eye, nose, mouth, stomach, ear, mind, heart and cellular hunger. You can read more about the different types of hunger here.

More Enjoyment and Pleasure
Mindful Eating minimises distracted eating, you know that eating when the entire bag of chips is finished and you can’t remember the taste? Through applying the practice of paying ATTENTION and creating AWARENESS comes APPRECIATION and enjoyment of the food we are eating in that moment, as we become more aware of the taste, flavour and texture of the food, which increases our pleasure of the experience.

We eat less
One of the tools of mindful eating is to pause before eating and during a meal. To eat slowly and savour our food. By eating slower and pausing to check in on our hunger and satisfaction levels, we tend to need less food.  By paying attention and becoming aware of what and when we are eating also helps us decrease constant eating or too much snacking whilst multi-tasking.

Compassion for self 
Mindful Eating helps us understand that there is no right or wrong way to eat and that our eating experiences are all unique. Unlike dieting and removing food groups (which creates feelings of deprivation that often lead to binge eating, which in turn fuels feeling of hopelessness, guilt and shame), Mindful Eating encourages self compassion especially when we’re used to eating in a way that makes us feel ashamed. Read more about this here.

No more good or bad foods
Mindful Eating advocates non-judgement of food. That food is neither good nor bad. Food is neutral. If we judge food as healthy or unhealthy and we eat a food we have judged as bad or unhealthy this is likely to trigger overeating. We are encouraged to eat for both pleasure and nourishment in a way that will make us feel better after we have finished eating.

Mind, Body, Heart Connection
As we learn to become more aware of our body and its signals for hunger and fullness, we also learn to become aware of the thoughts and emotions that often cause us to overeat. This helps us to become aware of our triggers and once we know what the common triggers are, we can expect them and plan for them without overeating or binge eating.

Freedom
As a result of these practices of awareness with kindness, we allow the possibility of freeing ourselves from reactive and habitual patterns around compulsive eating. We relax around all types of food and enjoy the eating experience without guilt and more pleasure!

After all, one of the pleasures in life is to eat and enjoy beautiful food!

In the next blog I will share some practical Mindful Eating tools…

Eat Mindfully!
Xen

Tired of overeating and feeling out of control around food? Dieting and restriction hasn’t worked for you? Do you want to find peace and freedom around food? Book a free Online Intro Session with me or join my “Food Freedom” 8 Week Programme (available in Jo’burg & Pretoria).

You can also sign up for my free Mindful Eating “Slightly Different” Advent Calendar to enjoy over the festive season.

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“The banquet is in the first bite...”

- Unknown -

“Seldom is the last of anything better than the first...”

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“If hunger is not the problem, food is not the solution.”

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“Someday society will doubt the wisdom of dieting rather than the willpower of dieters...”

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“The only journey is the one within...”

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“Right in the difficult must we have our joys, our happiness, our dreams: there against the depth of this background, they stand out. There for the first time, we see how beautiful they are.”

- Rainer Maria Rilke -

“Wellness isn't about deprivation and it's not about perfection. It is about pointing yourself in the direction of growth, training yourself to get comfortable with your highest potential and then taking small steps to support that shift. It is about showing up for yourself day by day and then one day finding that you have undergone a transformation.”

- Kathy Freston -

Certified by The Life Coach School Certified Life Coach Certified and Trained by The Original Intuitive Eating Pro