Mindful eating is the exact opposite of mindless eating. When you are mindless, you are not thinking about your eating. You may just be eating your meal or snack on auto-pilot. This is not the healthiest habit to develop, but one you can break by using mindful eating techniques.
Mindless eating is probably what you and most people you know do on a regular basis. You eat while you have distractions like your computer or the TV, don’t pay attention to what you eat or how much, and just sit there munching away, thinking about anything but the food you’re eating.
When you are a mindless eater, you don’t put much thought into what you are eating, when to stop eating, or why you feel certain ways after finishing a meal.
Why It’s a Bad Thing
There are several reasons why mindless eating can be a bad thing. First of all, it makes it really hard to tell when you are full, which is why you tend to overeat often. This might even lead you to feeling sick often because of how stuffed you get after each meal.
Mindless eating can also prevent you from noticing your body’s signals, not just when you are full, but when a certain food isn’t agreeing with you. If you don’t know that milk or cheese always gives you cramps and gas, how will you know to avoid it because of lactose intolerance?
With mindful eating, you are paying attention not just to what you are eating, but how you feel throughout the entire process. While adding in a journal to take notes and track your progress is really helpful, it isn’t mandatory.
What mindful eating does for you is change your mindset about food, give you the opportunity to enjoy food for what it is, and take away all the guilt and regret you have from choosing to eat certain foods.
How to Make the Switch
Transitioning from being a mindless eater to a mindful eater is a lot easier than you might think. It just takes a few changes in your eating habits. Start by removing all the noise and distractions from meal times, and just sit with your meal and be present.
Mindful eating is all about being in the moment, and not worrying about the past or future. Don’t think about what you need to do after dinner, but instead use all your senses for this meal and only this meal.