What is mindful eating and how do you get started with creating mindful eating habits? If you've ever found yourself battling with the voice in your head over what you should or should not eat, then one of the most powerful practices you can implement is mindful eating.
According to Nelson (2017) mindful eating is :
An approach to food that focuses on individuals’ sensual awareness of the food and their experience of the food.
Through implementing a mindful eating practice, you're better able to pay attention to the food choices you're making on a moment-by-moment basis. If you often find yourself second-guessing your food choices, what mindful eating allows you to do is to remove the judgment about what you're eating and focus more on why you're eating.
Whether that's for nourishment or enjoyment, mindful eating is about teaching yourself to savor the food you're eating while being present for the eating experience. Although getting started with a mindful eating practice might seem difficult at first, once you have a strategy it makes the process all the more effortless.
That's why in this post, I'm sharing three simple steps you can take to create mindful eating habits.
3 Simple Steps to Create Mindful Eating Habits
1. Focus on the Fundamentals of Nutrition
If you’re looking to get started with implementing mindful eating habits one of the first and most important steps you can take is focusing on the fundamentals of nutrition. That means ensuring you’re consuming adequate amounts of macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, and fats) and water in your daily diet.
When we adequately nourish ourselves, we are able to make food choices that help us obtain our health and wellness goals. Whether you're consuming lentils for plant-based protein or watermelon to stay hydrated, it's important to diversify the sources of nutrients you are consuming.
By doing so you're creating a strong foundation that will help you create and maintain more mindful eating habits.
2. Identify How Much is Enough
In terms of “how much” macronutrients and water you will need to eat depends on your body and health goals. If you're just getting started I cannot recommend enough to work with a Registered Dietitian (RD) or Nutritionist to help you figure out what that is for you.
This is especially important if you're someone who has previously calorie counted and you're now looking to start eating mindfully. Working with an RD or Nutritionist can help you with mastering portion control so that you can ensure you're consuming the appropriate amount of macronutrients and water.
Plus, you'll be developing habits that will make it so much easier to implement a mindful eating practice into your lifestyle.
3. Maintain a Food Journal
Now that you have a grasp over the fundamentals of nutrition and have identified how much is enough, it’s time to start bringing awareness to the impacts of your food choices through food journaling. Food journaling is a great way to bring mindfulness to your meal times by keeping track of what you’re eating and drinking throughout the day.
While this is a habit that might seem time-consuming, I can promise you that the insights you will gather are going to help you transform the relationship you have with food. When you're more aware of what you're eating and how that food is impacting you, it's so much easier to be mindful of your food choices.
Rather than blanketly eating foods you believe are healthy or avoiding foods you believe aren't, you can use food journaling to create a style of eating that works best for you.
When you know how to implement mindful eating it can become a powerful practice that will help you not only eat more mindfully but create a healthier lifestyle that gets you closer to you your health and wellness goals.
- Nelson, J. (2017). Mindful eating: The art of presence while you eat. DiabetesSpectrum, 30(3), 171-174.