Mindful Eating is the practice of mindfulness while eating.
It therefore consists in making a conscious diet by applying all your attention beforehand., during and after each meal or drink. Enjoy the experience of consuming food, devote 100% of our attention to the physical sensations produced by the flavors, textures, smells of each meal, and fully enjoy the emotions, thoughts and behaviors evoked by this pleasure and this tasting conscious.
The keys to mindful eating
Although it is a “simple” thing, the vast majority of people eat a dysfunctional meal, characterized for example by the fact of eating with little time and therefore in a hurry, giving priority to food and thinking about pending tasks or concerns, and meals and entertainment such as watching TV or being on the phone without enjoying food.
Outraged, in the society we live in it is easy to learn dysfunctional patterns of relating to food, it is common to establish “emotional meals” in which not a true physiological appetite is appeased but an emotion such as boredom, anxiety, loneliness, sadness, etc.
When inappropriate eating behaviors are established to calm situations that make us feel bad (anxiety, negative emotions, stress, etc.), we get a natural reinforcement from food (food is natural reinforcement). By eating we get the short-term emotional well-being that we need; it probably influences the activation of the parasympathetic system which activates in digestion (produces relaxation) and the previous sympathetic system is deactivated (activation, stress and anxiety).
Therefore, when we feel better about our food, we reinforce this pattern of behavior by repeating it more often. However, in the long term, the consequences are negative, such as not having healthy eating habits. you will be more likely to be overweight and suffer from associated cardiovascular diseases.
For decades, the go-to solution to weight loss has been diet. However, diets that are not quite adequate can produce increased anxiety if actual hunger has passed, failing to establish a proper eating pattern.
The best option is power establish a food association to cover physiological needs and dissociate eating behavior from other negative emotions (like anxiety).
Mindful Eating Guidelines
At Psicoalmeria, we recommend guidelines for establishing an appropriate pattern of relationship with food; they will serve you both if you are on a diet and if you just want to adopt healthier habits.
1. Prepare food in the right amount
Keep in mind that always we tend to finish what we start and probably if you run out of quantity you will want to leave ‘the dish clean’ even if you already feel full.
2. Eat sitting down, not standing up
In a comfortable and distraction-free place if possible.
3. All you have to do is enjoy the food with a “beginner’s mind”
In other words, it is as if it was the first time you ate this food and with an openness to all sensations and emotions. All of your attention and intention will be in the food.
4. Rely on audio equipment
Before you start enjoying food, use Psychoalmeria’s Conscious Consumption Audio; you will be able to focus your attention better and savor the present moment. In addition, the audio is designed so that the first bite gets food then at an appropriate pace and dissociates anxiety + food.
6. Make the most of the present moment
Enjoy pleasant feelings, emotions and thoughts that evoke this food in you.
Benefits of Mindful Eating
Among the benefits of the minful diet are the following.
- You will be able to enjoy the flavors and feel full with every meal.
- You will dissociate food from unpleasant emotions by eating naturally and physiologically.
- You will eat the necessary amounts that your body needs, which will cause your weight to regulate over time.
- If you use mindful eating along with a balanced diet, you will get better results. Plus, you’ll reduce the anxiety, frustration, and guilt felt when results don’t come in the short term.
Are you looking for psychological help?
If you are spending time without getting results in your diet or weight loss regulation plans, you probably need guidelines that are right for you.
A Psychoalmeria we take care of evaluating your request and your goals to establish the best psychological techniques and guidelines until you achieve your well-being. Psychologist Verónica Valderrama Hernández and her colleagues successfully treat many cases related to eating problems and disorders. You can do the sessions face to face in Almeria (Spain) and online in a comfortable way.