There are two different types of eating, merry and mindful. When you eat merrily, you are eating for the satisfaction you receive from the physical act of eating. You may not be paying attention to what or how much you are eating either. Your eating has become a routine and little attention is given to it. When there is food in front of you, your instant reaction is to eat it, much like a Labrador scrambles to gobble up that morsel of food that has fallen off the kitchen counter and onto the floor.
Do you do any of the following?
- Multitasking while you eat (watching TV, driving, talking on the phone).
- Skipping meals and then doubling up later.
- Disregarding hunger cues (stomach pains, low energy, irritability).
- Eating until stuffed instead of satiated.
- “Clean Plate Club” member.
- Not paying attention to nutritional needs.
- Believe you lack control.
- Shoulds and Shouldn’ts dominate your eating patterns.
On the other hand, mindful eating is always being aware and attentive to your body and eating patterns. You are always aware of the impact the foods you put in your body will have. Some examples of mindful eating include:
- Non-judgmental of yourself and food choices.
- Very in touch with the moment as you eat.
- Focused attention.
- Stop eating before that stuffed feeling approaches.
- Food is food. There is no good food or bad food. You make your decisions based upon the nutritional knowledge you posses.
- Recognizing pre and post eating thoughts and emotions.
- Enjoy meals with family and friends. Meals aren’t a chore, but something you enjoy and approach leisurely.
If you fall into the first category, don’t fret. Just study what a mindful eater does and slowly incorporate that way of thinking and living in your every day routine.