The Benefits of Mindful Eating

Filed Under: Mindful Eating

30 June 2015 | Written by Xenia Ayiotis

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.

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!

“From our first meeting - two faces on Zoom across the world from each other, there was a sense of familiarity and comfort that was a healing balm for a lifetime of food struggles and dieting. Without realizing how much damage I had done to myself by adhering, for decades, to restrictive food plans and rigid diet programs, Xen had a way of redirecting the harsh and negative self-talk and sending me forth each week with compassion, mindfulness and a new way of seeing myself in the here and now. Gone are the maybe somedays, and if-only, and when-I’m-smaller thinking. Now I am committed to the imperfect and rocky path to listening to my body, accepting my perfect imperfections, and rejecting diet mentality. Those negative voices will revisit me from time to time, I know, but Xen has offered valuable tools for meeting each day as a fresh start - another choice, another chance. Her devotion to this work and her belief in her clients is a remarkable gift; I am so fortunate to have found her. It is never too late to let go of the drama and embrace joy, ease and self-acceptance.”

Karen L, Denver, USA

“I felt hopeless and helpless in my daily struggle with mindless eating for many years. Then I found Xen which is exactly what I needed! My decision to work with her helped me to finally repair my relationship with food. It's changing my life for the better, one day at a time. Now I have control over the food, instead of it having control over me, which is the way it should be. I highly recommend Xen to anyone who has a desire to overcome similar food struggles. Xen, thank you from the bottom of my heart!”

Karen J, Colorado, USA

“I reached out to Xenia because 2021 started on a tumultuous note for me. Between deaths, businesses suffering, hospitalizations, and job losses in our personal circle, I felt depleted and found myself being available for everyone but myself. Then I was hit with an unexpected health diagnosis, which was the last straw as it meant giving up “healthy foods” and workouts that I leaned on for my well-being and stability. Despite working in wellness (Yes, coaches and healers are vulnerable too!), I found myself reaching out to desserts for comfort. I like to live a life of permissions (not labels or deprivation leading to bingeing), so I wanted to work with someone who approached healing from a place of mindful compassion. I didn’t want to be my own client. Xenia was great in reminding me to be kind to myself. Working with her, brought me peace and helped shift my mindset. I love how desserts and I look at each other now.”

Sweta Vikram, New York, USA

“Working with Xenia was amazing. She armed me with a bunch of tools to help me through difficult times. Xenia is the kind of person who really cares for helping you in the long run. Her work will forever have an impact in my life.”

Daniela Velásquez, Ottawa, Canada

“Working with Xen was a game changer for me. After working together for a few months my relationship with food radically changed. I no longer felt like a failure. I now have the tools to nourish my body with foods that feel good in my body. I don’t feel guilty about eating cake or chocolate, I also don’t overeat cake and chocolate. I no longer feel the need to exercise to compensate for my eating. I feel much more free around eating and I am more accepting of my body. Xen has a nonjudgmental and compassionate approach to coaching and really supports you in the process.”

Rachel, Dublin, Ireland

“Working with Xen has been very empowering. Her approach is so refreshing from the usual. I have learned that I am in charge and that I get to choose what I put in my body and how to move my body in a way that I like! I get to make my own choices. It’s so liberating. Once you get a taste of freedom with food, there is no turning back to old ways! Thanks Xen for guiding me along the way to freedom.”

Heather B, Cork. Ireland

“This is the answer for those of you that struggle with food and all that surrounds it. Xenia said that I could make peace with food and it seemed at the time like an impossible dream. Turns out it isn’t. I recommend Xen and the mindful eating / intuitive eating approach unreservedly. If you have any questions about my experience, please get in touch. Thank you Xen. My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”

Michelle, Johannesburg, South Africa

“Xenia was a walking, living, breathing example of what can be done. I laughed and cried my way through a short course in this fascinating and invigorating programme with her, and have gained a designer tote full of coping skills that go way beyond containing kilogrammes. I feel infinitely lighter. I am doing this for me and, yes, you can do this for you too! And believe me, I’m cynical!”

Diana, Vancouver, Canada

“I don’t obsess about food like I used to. I am thinking differently about food and feeling so much more relaxed around all types of food. It’s wonderful to have pleasure and satisfaction from eating.”

Sarah, Illinois, USA

“I learned a new way of thinking about food. I have learned that food is not the enemy and that it can actually be enjoyed with no guilt.”

Sandy, London, United Kingdom

Certified by The Life Coach School Certified and Trained by The Original Intuitive Eating Pro Professional Member of The Center for Mindful Eating