Mindful eating can be a helpful tool when you are working on making peace with food, learning to eat intuitively, and listening to your body. Keep reading to learn more about what mindful eating is and what it is not, plus I share 5 tips for mindful eating.
What is Mindful Eating?
The Center for Mindful Eating defines mindful eating as:
“Allowing yourself to become aware of the positive and nurturing opportunities that are available through food selection and preparation by respecting your own inner wisdom…[and] using all your senses in choosing to eat food that is both satisfying to you and nourishing to your body and becoming aware of physical hunger and satiety cues to guide your decisions to begin and end eating.”
The Center for Mindful Eating: Principles of Mindful Eating
From this definition, I’d say that intuitive eating incorporates mindful eating in the following intuitive eating principles:
The intuitive eating framework takes this work a step further by emphasizing the importance of rejecting the diet mentality, finding tools to cope with your emotions, and using gentle nutrition and movement from a place of self-care and body respect.
I like to imagine the intuitive eating framework as an umbrella, and mindful eating is one spoke that helps to support the umbrella. Mindful eating — bringing more non-judgemental intention and awareness to your eating experiences — can be a helpful tool as you work toward moving away from dieting, reconnecting with your body, and making food choices from a place of self-care rather than restriction or deprivation.
Mindful eating can also be thought of as being conscious about what we are eating and why. It is about getting back in touch with the experience of eating and enjoying our food. What it is not: a diet. Eating mindfully does not place “good” or “bad” labels on foods. Instead, the goal is to have more awareness about what is going into our food decisions and base our meals and food choices on body respect.
When Mindful Eating May Not Be Helpful
Most of the clients I work with are out of touch with their feelings of hunger and…