Learn To Eat Again – Mindful Eating And Intuitive Eating – An Introduction

Learn To Eat Again – Mindful Eating And Intuitive Eating – An Introduction

mindfulness, eating, lifestyle

For most of my adult life – before life circumstances derailed my efforts for a short while– I have been eating intuitively and mindfully. I was at peace with food and loved to prepare it. At one point my husband even owned an American Restaurant in Germany, and with my then small children, we loved to visit every chance we got when he was at work.

But life happened and I lost track of that love and practice for mindful and intuitive eating temporarily

However, after a while of falling for the trap of conventional eating practices, I have regained my practice, and my overall health has been improving due to this fact, having found more of a balance, and harmony. And yours can too!

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What is Mindful Eating?

 

Mindful Eating for me starts at the preparation. It is the focus, and active state of being lovingly present with the food, at the moment of preparation and consumption without distraction, to the point of creating an almost meditative spiritual state.

Related: Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works

What is Intuitive Eating?

 

Intuitive eating is the result of mindful eating. It is the awareness of the wisdom of your body, allowing you to listen to its needs regarding fuel, and filling it accordingly, without restrictions, limitations or diets, achieving a healthy, gentle balance of living in harmony with food and your body, instead of fighting against it.

Both of those practices have some rules, however. If you are thinking, that intuitive eating is a simple freedom from diet then you are only partially correct. It is a practice of learning to identify body cues, to understand the reasons behind certain cravings, and the awareness of how food actually tastes like.

Why this practice is important:

  1. Improved mental state. I am sure you know that dieting and eating, in general, can become a very stressful daily occurrence. Mindful and intuitive eating takes out the stress, by focusing the mind on what is actually in front of you, rather than all of the – sometimes very negative – self-chatter and habitual practices, that come with eating.
  2. Improved awareness of your body. Intuitive eating gives you a chance to learn about your body cues. This awareness helps you to discover which foods make you feel bloated, energetic, heavy, or many other different ways. This understanding of your physical state, can prevent overeating, and often teaches the practitioners which foods they have sensitivities towards, which you might have disregarded before.
  3. Improved relationship with ingredients. Mindful and intuitive eating can give you a better connection to the food you are consuming. In your presence, you can make wiser choices, that are not based on rushed judgment but on the ingredients and flavors you actually have in front of you.

You are back in control!

 

Sounds complicated? It isn’t. It does take practice, as with anything worthwhile doing. In order to make the transition into mindful and intuitive eating easier, I have compiled some tips for you.

Intuitive Eating and Mindful Eating Tips

 

Let go of weight loss expectations. Because this is not a diet, but a lifestyle, and mindfulness practice, it is not wise to have any particular weight-loss or gain expectations (depending on where you are in your current diet journey). While you most likely will experience a balancing of your weight into a naturally healthy level, your goal is to establish – maybe for the first time – a friendly, loving-kindness relationship with the process of eating.

Expect it to take some times to learn your bodies cues. The more mindless and unhealthy your relationship with your body and food has been before starting this practice, the longer it will take you to learn to communicate effectively with food and your physical state. Be patient with yourself.

Remove distractions. Turn off the television, put down that book, and get rid of the music in the background. Become present in the moment of preparation, and consuming by keeping as much silence as possible.

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Slow down the eating process. Instead of rushing to finishing your meal as quickly as possible, put your silverware (or your sandwich) down every once in a while. This gives you chance to listen to your bodies cues, such as a signal that you are getting fuller. Pausing gives you a chance to stay in communication with your physical self and allows you notice when you should get ready to stop.

If you have decided that you want to eat a high-fat meal, remember to slow down even further. It takes a lot longer for your body to recognize if it is satisfied or not, with high-fat meals. To combat this, I have seen practitioners use little tricks, like eating a donut with a knife and fork. It might seem funny, but it truly does slow you down and gives your body a chance to realize its satisfaction level.

I will dive deeper into the subject of mindful and intuitive eating over the next few weeks, so stay tuned.

Healthy Blessings!

Claudia

 

 

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16 Comments

  1. Bored eating is my kryptonite. I can’t have snacks around the house for this reason. I’ll definitely try out your way. Anything to help with weight loss since I’m going to the gym.

    1. Author

      yes, I can understand that. I will talk about snacking soon, and highlight some suggestions, so stay tuned for more info on the subject

  2. I don’t know much about mindful eating, so this post was very helpful! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Author

      I am glad you thought so, blessings!

  3. This is such an interesting idea! I’ve been learning about mindfulness in therapy and I had never thought about this until reading your post.

    1. Author

      glad that I could share something with you, that peaked your interest. Blessings!

  4. This article is very helpful, I see I have to make so many changes in the way I see food. I don`t enjoy it very much and I think that I eat to survive only.

    1. Author

      I hope you find joy in eating. I am going to write more about the subject soon, so stop by often. Blessings!

  5. I saw a segment about Mindful eating on the news. It seems like the people who practice it look more calm and content with their meal. Thank you for listing the benefits we can get from this.

  6. I used to intuitive eat years ago and have been doing it on and off. It’s easy not to though with all the running around that i do which is a shame.

    1. Author

      I hope you will get back into it, for your health sake. Blessings!

  7. Thats hard though! Our bodies are pretty dumb when it comes to exhibiting needs for ingredients. Sometimes when it’s thirsty it gives the same sign it would normally give for starvation which results in overeating. Or your head just starts to ache from dehydration at which point is a little too late. But these are some good tips, I’ll definitely try to follow!

    1. Author

      there is an adjustment period, where we get used to listen to our bodies. I will write more about how to transition from unhealthy eating to mindful and intuitive eating soon. Blessings!

  8. In a busy & tech world, our eating habits and portions need adjustment. Thank you for reminding us of some very important points. Great article.

    1. Author

      thank you. Yes, our tech can get in the way of living a healthy life if we are not careful. What is not controlled by us, will control us. Blessings!

  9. Mindful eating can be so hard sometimes. Especially for people who have struggled with eating disorders. Like everything else in life, taking time to slow down and enjoy the process is half the battle!

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