Too often we are accustomed to eating to calm our emotions. This is notably due to the associations that our mind makes. Food is often associated with calm and soothing moments, such as when the baby calms down after feeding, or with moments of pleasure and sharing, since traditionally food has always been at the center of all celebrations. So when we are nervous and anxious, when we are bored, when we are sad, food can easily become our refuge. Often, the direct consequence of these associations is the arrival of a few kilos which we could have done without. Meditation, and particularly mindful eating, is an approach that sees the act of eating as a real break in the day, to focus on what is on your plate, to concentrate on your nutrition, your digestion, his stomach.
The power of mindful eating
Mindfulness, or full awareness, has the effect of centering the mind. This experience is directly related to meditation: its goal is to soothe, sharpen and stabilize the mind. Practicing mindfulness will help you observe your emotions and experience them fully, without trying to silence them through food. You will eat to truly nourish your body and no longer out of anxiety and impulse.
More concretely, how to apply mindful eating?
Experiencing mindful eating involves first listening to your body. This is very well calibrated to inform us when it needs to be nourished: gurgling, feeling of fatigue or lack of strength. It is then necessary to take the time to analyze our relationship with food . We must therefore ask ourselves:
- What type of nutrition does our body really need?
- Where does the food we are about to offer come from?
- Why we choose to buy these foods: if they are conscious or unconscious purchases, are they based on impulses or habits, are they comfort foods that will make us feel less stressed, less sad, less depressed , etc. or conversely, revitalizing foods, directly beneficial for our body and for our diet
- With what attitude and intention we cook them, we prepare them.
It is important to keep in mind that there is no right answer, all answers are valid. But practicing a real observation of your eating habits, answering these questions honestly and precisely, will allow you to define your new relationship with food, and to more easily differentiate what you really want to eat from what your body needs. really needs it. In other words, these answers will allow you to differentiate emotional hunger from physiological hunger. However, be careful not to create frustration.
Then, at meal time, you must choose to take time for yourself, sit down without distraction (television, cell phone), chew each mouthful slowly and try to witness your behaviors and sensations. The aim of the exercise is to rediscover the pleasure hidden behind “real foods” , those which do not contain flavor enhancers and which will make us gain weight less. The goal is also to relearn how to listen to your body, to fully feel the feeling of satiety, which often arrives much sooner than we think.
To summarize, the practice of mindful eating allows for more measured culinary choices. Food is more focused on real well-being, aims to nourish the body while relaxing the mind. Properly applied, it allows you to eat less, while eating better.
Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food - Jan Chozen Bays