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Mindful Eating: What It Is And How It Can Help Regulate Weight

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Mindful Eating is the practice of Mindfulness during feeding.

Therefore, it consists of making a conscious diet applying mindfulness before, during and after every meal or drink. Enjoying the experience of consuming food, dedicating 100% of our attention to the physical sensations that flavors produce, textures, smells of each meal, and fully enjoying the emotions, thoughts and behaviors evoked from that conscious enjoyment and savoring.

  • Related article: "Mindfulness: 8 benefits of mindfulness"

The keys to Mindful Eating

Although it is something "simple", the vast majority of people eat a dysfunctional meal, characterized for example in eating with little timeframe and therefore in a hurry, eating prioritizing and attending to thoughts about tasks that are pending to be done or concerns to be resolved, and meals along with entertainment such as watching television or being aware of the mobile without enjoying the food.

What's more, in the society in which we live it is easy to learn dysfunctional patterns of relationship with food

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It is common to establish "emotional meals" in which a real physiological hunger is not calmed but an emotion such as boredom, anxiety, loneliness, sadness, etc.

When maladaptive eating behaviors are established to “calm” situations that make us feel bad (anxiety, negative emotions, stress, etc ...), we obtain the natural reinforcement of the diet (food is a reinforcement natural). Eating we obtain in the short term the emotional well-being we need; probably influences the activation of the parasympathetic system that is activated in digestion (produces relaxation) and deactivates the previous sympathetic system (activation, stress and anxiety).

As a consequence, when we feel better when we eat, we reinforce this pattern of behavior by repeating it on more occasions. However, in the long term the consequences are negative, because by not having healthy eating habits the probability of being overweight and associated with cardiovascular diseases will be greater.

For decades, the quintessential solution used for weight loss has been diet. However, diets that are not entirely adequate can cause an increase in anxiety if you really hunger, not achieving an adequate establishment of an eating pattern.

The best option is power establish an association of eating to meet the physiological need and dissociate the behavior of eating along with other negative emotions (like anxiety).

Mindful Eating Tips
  • You may be interested in: "Emotional hunger: what is it and what can be done to combat it"

Mindful Eating Guidelines

At Psicoalmeria we recommend guidelines to establish an adequate relationship pattern with food; They will serve you whether you are on a diet or if you simply want to obtain healthier habits.

1. Prepare the food in an adequate quantity

Keep in mind that always We tend to finish what we started and probably if you go overboard you will want to leave "the plate clean" even if you already feel full.

  • Related article: "Time management: 13 tips to take advantage of the hours of the day"

2. Eat sitting, not standing

In a comfortable and distraction-free place if possible.

3. All you have to do is enjoy food with a "beginner's mind"

That is to say, as if it were the first time you eat that food and with openness to all sensations and emotions. All your attention and intention will be on the food.

4. Lean on audio material

Before starting to enjoy food, use Psicoalmeria's mindful eating audio; you will be able to better focus your attention and savor the moment. In addition, the audio is designed for the first bite, getting to eat later at an appropriate pace and dissociate anxiety + food.

6. Enjoy the present moment

Enjoy pleasant feelings, emotions, and thoughts that evoke that food.

Advantages of Mindful Eating

Among the advantages of minful eating, the following stand out.

  • You will be able to enjoy the flavors and feel full at each meal.
  • You will dissociate food with unpleasant emotions, eating naturally and physiologically.
  • You will eat the necessary amounts that your body needs, producing a regulation of your weight over time.
  • If you use mindful eating together with a balanced diet you will get better results. In addition, you will reduce the anxiety, frustration and culpability that is experienced when the results do not occur in the short term.

Are you looking for psychological assistance?

If you have not obtained results in your diet or weight loss regulation plans for a long time, surely you need guidelines adapted to your situation.

On Psychoalmeria We take care of evaluating your demand and objectives to establish the best techniques and psychological guidelines until your well-being is achieved. The psychologist Verónica Valderrama Hernández and her colleagues successfully handle many cases related to eating problems and disorders. You will be able to carry out the face-to-face sessions in Almería (Spain) and online in a comfortable way.
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