Mindful Eating and Food – How Mindful Eating Improves Your Relationship with Food
I’ve written about mindful eating and food before. In fact, one of the biggest benefits to becoming a mindful eater is that you begin to improve your relationship with food. If you have a history of trying diet after diet to control your weight, a history of anxiety around the subject of food, or food fears (maybe you didn’t have enough to eat growing up), this is a wonderful practice to add to your life.
You Appreciate Food for What it is
The first way mindful eating helps with your relationship with food is by helping you to fully appreciate food for what it is, instead of feeling fear around it. No matter what your history with food and/or dieting is, most of us have some fear or anxiety associated with certain foods. This is probably true for you too. These foods are the ones that make you anxious if you’re offered them at a party, or foods you vow never keep in the house because you fear you can’t control how much of them you will eat. Personally, I’m thinking chips and cookies right now.
Mindful eating helps you to make all foods neutral, so no food is good or bad. It is all food, and it all nourishes you in different ways. You understand that your day, mood, hunger, cravings, time of the month, and so many other factors go into satisfaction from these different types of foods. Some have a positive effect on your health, both mental and physical, and some…not so much.
All Your Senses are Activated
You use all your senses when you eat. By using your senses, your completely experience the food you’re eating. You experience different flavors, colors, textures, smells, and sounds with your food. The more you can focus on your senses, the less you will focus on the biases or fears you have toward certain less desirable or “unhealthy” foods
You Will Begin to Experience Less Guilt and Shame
The reason people often have a bad relationship with food is from a learned diet mentality. You can experience a lot of guilt and shame over your food choices. Fortunately, by practicing mindful eating, you can begin to quell those emotions and just enjoy the experience of eating.
It’s not positive or productive to feel guilt over the foods you choose to eat. The magic is in learning what effects focusing on mindful eating and food have on you and on your present and future health. Then, when you’re able to make informed choices about what to eat, you will be more likely to make good choices for yourself and for those around you. If you make an occasional less desirable food choice, you’ll have confidence you will be able to enjoy every bite of that choice and then move on to making, and eating, food choices that better support your health and wellness.
It’s not the occasional misstep that trips us up, it’s beating ourselves up and giving up that does us in. Few of us are perfect in our eating choices. Lighten up and learn! With knowledge about mindful eating and food, you’ll make better choices most of the time, and that’s what most of us need to believe.
Helping You Achieve Major Wellness!
Cheryl A Major, CNWC
I’m author, health coach, and entrepreneur Cheryl A Major, and I would love to connect with you! If you’re new to the world of creating better health, both mental and physical for yourself, please check out my training on how to read food labels. That’s a wonderful way to begin your new healthy eating journey. What’s In a Food Label is where to check it out. Learn how to really know what’s in that package of food you’re buying and exactly where to find the truth!
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