Eight simple steps to mindful eating
Practicing mindfulness at mealtimes can help break unhealthful eating patterns and tune into the pleasures that food has to offer. Here are a few of my suggestions to use as guidelines ~ giving your self time and replacing compassion for criticism and joy for judgment.
- Be sure you are hungry: eat intuitively ~ as your body tells you ~ and with enjoyment and pleasure
- Be grateful: before each meal, take a moment to breathe. As you are breathing, think about the food, where it comes from and the nourishment it offers you
- Eat with all five senses: look at the food, its colors and textures. Smell the aroma and notice the sensations as the food moves into your body
- Eat “as if” the whole world is watching ~ compassionately
- Have a meal or a snack without any distraction ~ or as little as possible
- Look behind the craving: if “craving” is present, sit with it for a few moments. Jot down the emotions and feelings you are having. Watch the cravings rise…and fall
- Eat one meal a week or more in silence, mindfully: focus on awareness and leave the newspaper, TV or other endeavors alone for now
- Choose acceptance: if you do overeat, don’t punish yourself by starving the next day. Accept what has already occurred and remember: failure in not falling down but staying down
Above all be flexible. Healthful eating is like the practice of yoga: each day is different. Allow yourself to eat what nourishes you each day rather than sticking to a rigid routine. Eating mindfully is a practice, taking time and patience. Be kind to yourself and never do anything that is less than in your very best interest. A new life awaits!