Mindful eating is a form of meditation that allow us to focus on our emotional and physical eating experience. It is crucial to recognize our eating experience with all of our senses including our sight, taste, hearing, smell and touch, and to witness without any judgement our emotional and physical response before, during and after our experience.
Think about the last meal you had. Can you recall?
Where? Were you in an environment meant for eating?
Why? Why did you eat? Were you hungry, Satisfied or full? Or perhaps, was it offered to you?
When? When do you want to eat? What time was it? How long had it been since the last time you ate?
What? What food or beverage did you eat?
How? How did you eat? Slowly? Rapidly? Were you distracted? Did you eat with other poeple?
How much? How much food or beverage did you have?
We eat under the influence of our:
Stomach: Are you eating because your body requires energy to remain healthy?
Mouth: Do you want this food because you like the flavor, the texture and the aroma?
Heart: Are you eating because you feel certain emotion or because you simply have nothing else to do?
Techniques to interrupt the inner compulsive eater:
Be aware of your appetite: Ask yourself is it physical hunger (stomach) or psychological hunger (mouth or heart). Are you eating because it is available, or because it is your favourite food?
Listen to your hunger/fullness cues: try to avoid extreme hunger which can lead to overeating, make it a habit to eat at regular time. Develop a healthy relationship with food: take the time to savor and enjoy all the different foods on your plate.
Concentrate on what you eat: allowing your mind to stay tuned with your body signals. Avoid distraction during meals (ie. Watching TV) and try to consume meals/snacks in area meant for eating (kitchen/cafeteria).
Eat slowly: decrease the size of your bite, chew food slowly and swallow each bite before taking the next one. Aim to consume a meal in at least 30 minutes.
Manage emotions without eating: Are you eating because you are tired, emotional or as a reward? If you are not truly hungry, distract yourself with an activity you enjoy. Brainstorm strategies to help cope with emotions that do not involve food.
At Lina’s and Dina’s Center, Dietitians will train their clients this type of nutritional counselling to ensure their clients listen to their body cues and practice mindful eating to ease their weight loss journey. For more information, visit our website: