Am I Hungry? 4 Easy Mindful Eating Exercises
- Do you avoid or feel guilty eating certain foods?
- Do you eat because you’re angry, bored, sad, tired, etc.?
- Do you eat for comfort, reward, celebration, etc.?
- Do you eat while doing other things (watching TV, working, driving)?
In our diet-obsessed, food-abundant culture, eating is often guilt-inducing. Additionally, we receive general advice to “follow a healthy lifestyle.” And you know, this means exercise, and watch what you eat. However, this suggestion isn’t terribly helpful, if you’ve been unsuccessful at doing that for years.
The Issue is Not…
The issue isn’t our food. For one thing, food is neither good nor bad. Further, eating is a natural, healthy, and (should be a) pleasurable activity to satisfy hunger. However, almost all of us can relate some difficulty we have with food. As examples, we may be embarrassed by an affection for chocolate, or experience palpable misery of sneaky nighttime eating. How did food and eating become such a common source of unhappiness and guilt?
THIS is What it is…
To begin with, we don’t recognize the messages our bodies broadcast. Then we judge and find ourselves lacking motivation, or willpower. Finally, we throw our hands up and give in.
What isn’t Mindful Eating?
First, mindful eating is not about eliminating what you love to eat, or putting up with tasteless food substitutes. Further, it doesn’t require willpower, self-control, or deprivation. Ultimately, (tada!) it’s guilt free.
In the long run, mindful eating doesn’t mean eating perfectly. All things considered, it’s not the same thing as controlling what you eat. overall, mindful eating is not a diet, or about giving up anything.
What IS Mindful Eating?
Mindfulness means paying attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them. Mindful eating teaches us to hear what our body is telling us, and rekindle our relationship with food. At the same time, it empowers us to break automatic, or habitual, reactions. In due time, you discover options that work best for you.
For the most part, mindful eating eliminates labeling food (good, bad). Mindful eating is about paying attention to food colors, flavors, smells, sounds (crunch!, smoosh), temperatures, and textures.
Mindfulness means paying attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them.Click to tweet
How Do You Start?
Start paying attention when your mind gets distracted. As examples, notice when you grab a book, turn on the TV, or access Facebook while you eat. With attention to the impulse, acknowledge it, and return to your eating.
Second, ask am I satisfied? To clarify, ask yourself: where, and how, do I feel hunger? Ultimately, it’s more than “eating slowly, without distraction.”
4 Mindful Eating Exercises
- (Easy) Drink the first four sips of a cup of hot tea or coffee while maintaining total attention on what you’re doing.
- (Easy) If you usually eat and read together, alternate the activities instead of doing both at once. To illustrate, read a page, then put the book down and eat a few bites. In other words, savor the taste; then read another page, and so on.
- (Intermediate) In a social eating scenario, ask everyone to eat in silence for the first five minutes. In detail, concentrate on eating, chewing, and attention.
- (Advanced) Eat one meal a week alone, and silently. In this case, simply eat. To emphasize, refrain from eating and (talking, watching TV, gossiping on the phone, Tweeting, or updating your Facebook status).
Change Day by Day
Our eating habits and lack of attention to our actions aren’t easy to change. Therefore, don’t be too hard on yourself. To put it another way, you’re not supposed to be able to switch on a mindfulness button and do it 100%. For this reason, lasting change happens with small changes, and takes time (probably more than 21 days).
Health Coach/Personal Trainer in Manhattan
My name is Jacqueline Gikow. Above all, I believe in your ability to challenge your current behavior. In fact, my coaching is focused on your strengths. Significantly, you want to act differently and flourish. I just happen to offer an approach that is straightforward and realistic.
I believe I can point you in the right direction. Want to start?
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