One of the reasons people look into mindful eating is because they are struggling with emotional eating. If you tend to eat more when you are stressed or bored, or have different eating habits during these times in your life, you might be an emotional eater.
Emotional eating is not always a bad thing, but if it is impacting your physical or mental health, that is when you know it is time to make some changes.
You Eat Slower and Can Tell When You’re Full
It can actually take up to 20 minutes for your brain to send signals to your body that you are full. This is why if you rush through meals, you are bound to eat more than your body needs, and feel uncomfortable.
With mindful eating, your eating is much slower and you pay attention to your body and thoughts the entire time. You are not caught up in the latest Netflix special to realize you were full 10 chips ago. So, even if your reason for eating those chips was for emotional reasons, you don’t finish off the bag without thinking twice about it.
You Develop Coping Skills
Emotional eating is closely tied to anxiety, stress, and procrastination or boredom. Mindful eating and mindfulness in general can help you learn some positive coping skills for these emotions, and understand when you eat out of boredom, and when you eat because of hunger.
This is one of the reasons we highly recommend you keep a journal of your mindful eating process. You can track what you eat, why you ate, and when you stopped. You start to see trends about when you tend to emotionally eat. For some people, it is when they are bored or procrastinating. For others, it is when they are lonely, anxious, or overly stressed.
As you start to see these patterns, you learn to work on developing other coping skills that have nothing to do with eating.
RESOURCE: Clever Fox Food Journal & Meal Planner
You Have a Better Understanding of Physical VS Emotional Hunger
One of the best things mindful eating will do for you is help you identify physical hunger and emotional hunger. Your mind can trick you into thinking you’re famished when really you’re just looking for something to occupy your time. But if you have never focused much on WHY you want to eat and what you crave, you may have not even known most of that was just emotional hunger.