Mindful eating – using the tenets of mindfulness meditation while eating, has done nothing less than transform mind-body nutrition. Practitioners everywhere are incorporating it.
When I work with an individual, I almost always combine clear steps to bring food and lifestyle into balance (the what of lifestyle) with mindfulness (the how of lifestyle).
Why Do It?
- Enjoying your food – First off, when people slow things down – and eating is a dramatic example – they tend to taste and enjoy their food more. It might seem ironic, but eating slowly is more interesting and enjoyable, once you get the hang of it.
- Epigenetic benefits – Epige-what? Epigenetics is the impact that choices have on gene expression. When you choose to eat a plant based diet or move your body, you actually impact your gene expression, which in turn builds a more resilient future you. It’s some of the biggest news in lifestyle medicine now.
- Neurobiology benefits – Mindfulness manages stress. When you slow down and breathe – particularly when you extend your exhale – you activate the whole rest-and-recover side of your nervous system. That not only manages stress, but can improve digestion.
- Turn down the external messages on what and how much to eat. Face it, modern life is filled with messages from the media – commercials for fast food, billboards – it’s just everywhere – that tell us we need to be eating basically all the time. It’s hard to ignore, but mindfulness can help you un-hook from those messages.
- Tune into your internal guidance system – instead of responding to cues from the outside, mindful eating get you more in-tune to your internal guidance system – to if you are actually hungry, and when you are satisfied.
- Improve your relationship with what you eat. Eating is a two-way conversation. Mindfulness is an excellent way to tune in to toes conversation.
One caveat – this practice can uncouple eating and satiety – it can help you eat less, but it can also help you undercut. Use nutrition guidelines for adequacy – adequate protein and energy needs – for your body.
So How do I do it? Check my post that gives you the step-by-step to give it a try: