Mindful Eating: Developing a Healthy Attitude Towards Food

You may be wondering what mindful eating is. The term “mindful eating” actually comes from the word “mindfulness”, which is an awareness of feelings, thoughts, behaviors and behavioral urges. But what does “mindful eating” mean?

Mindful eating takes the concept of mindfulness and applies it to eating. It involves paying close attention to the type and amount of food you’re eating by smelling, seeing and tasting it. If you want to learn more about mindful eating and how you can develop a healthy attitude towards food, keep reading below:

Different Types of Eating Habits

There are a number of different types of faulty eating habits including:

  • Disordered eating – this is any type of inconsistent or abnormal eating behavior. It includes people who eat too little or too much food. This kind of eating habit is considered as a coping mechanism and often leads to addiction.
  • Emotional eating – lots of people find themselves eating because of their emotions e.g. they may end up eating more when they’re stressed, anxious or happy. This is known as emotional eating as people eat to satisfy their emotions. This type of eating habit can lead to diabetes, obesity and other health issues.
  • Binge eating – this is when an individual eats a large quantity of food in a short period of time.

The Consequences of Disordered, Emotional or Binge Eating Habits

Some of the main consequences of these eating habits include:

  • Weight gain, or weight fluctuation
  • Sleep disruption
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Feeling annoyed or upset with oneself
  • Feeling guilty afterwards
  • Electrolyte fluid imbalances

How Mindfulness Can Help

Evidence has shown that mindfulness can transform a person’s relationship with food. Not only does it bring awareness to eating behaviors and habits, but it can also help improve the overall health of a person and reduce their stress levels.

Mindfulness helps people to understand and learn about their body and is a crucial part of developing good eating habits. When we understand why we eat like we do, we’re able to start changing the way we behave.

How to Develop Mindful Eating Habits

Here are some things you can do to develop mindful eating habits:

  • Only eat when you feel hungry.
  • Chew and savor every bite of food.
  • Eat only healthy foods – if you want to improve your health and you’re interested in starting a healthy eating plan, then you should try the AIP meal plan. This plan works to remove many inflammatory or irritating foods and incorporates foods that are known to be health-promoting or healing.
  • Stop eating before you feel full.
  • Keep a diary of what food you’ve eaten each day.
  • Listen to your body – it will tell you if you’re doing okay.
  • Love yourself and your body.
  • Avoid rationing food.
  • Make sure you sit down and take time to eat – stop rushing your food.
  • Don’t have cheat days.

Why You Should Have a Healthy Relationship with Food

Food is an important part of all of our lives. Whether you’re nurturing your body with nothing but nutrition, you’re indulging in sweets, or you are cooking to you and your family a large turkey dinner to enjoy, food is often found in the middle of the theoretical world.

In order to remain healthy, we need to have a healthy relationship with food. Eating unhealthy foods or overindulging on a regular basis isn’t recommended as it can lead to a range of health conditions including diabetes and obesity. While fueling your body is the main reason for eating, at times we often overlook the purpose of food. By forming a good relationship with the food on your plate, you can maintain a healthy body and mind.

The majority of people in the U.S. tend to overindulge in sweet, salty and crunchy foods that fall into the junk-food category, but these foods often don’t satisfy us and can leave us feeling a sense of guilt. In order to understand the importance of mindfulness and mindful eating, you need to understand your eating habits. Identifying your eating habits is the first step in developing a healthy attitude towards food. How can you improve your relationship with food?

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

This is a collaborative post supporting our Peace In Peace Out initiative.

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