Mindful Eating For Dummies
Find advice on eating mindfully when you're dining out
Discover how mindful eating can combat emotional hunger
Whether you want to develop a healthier relationship with food to lose weight, manage a diet- or lifestyle-related illness or simply experience a better awareness and connection at mealtime, Mindful Eating For Dummies is your go-to guide for getting it done.
Mindful Eating For Dummies
Discovering Mindful Eating
In This Chapter
Defining mindful eating
Exploring your relationship with food
Discovering the mind-body connection
Looking at the beauty of the now
At first glance, mindful eating may sound simple. And at its most basic level, it is simple, yet mindful eating is also extremely profound and goes far beyond merely slowing down or removing distractions while you eat.
In this chapter I lay the groundwork for the chapters to come by exploring in-depth what mindful eating actually is, uncovering its roots in the art and practice of mindfulness, and looking at who can benefit the most from incorporating mindful eating into their everyday lives.
Exploring the Different Slices of the Mindful Eating Pie
To help you understand what mindful eating is and how it can help you, check out the opposite side of the coin and examine a few mindless eating scenarios. See if you can identify with any or all of the following situations:
Can you remember a time when you walked up to your fridge, opened the door, picked out some leftovers and started eating them without really paying attention to what you were doing, as if you were on some kind of automatic pilot? And then all of a sudden you clued back in, realized what you were doing and noticed that half the food was already gone, but you only vaguely remembered tasting it.
What about this scenario: you walk into your kitchen and there it is, in plain sight on the counter – the chocolate cake. You ate two pieces of that chocolate cake yesterday, felt subpar afterwards and told yourself that you wouldn't do that again. But today's a new day ... and that's a new piece of cake! You go back and forth in your mind, struggling with the lure of the cake, and before you know it, you're eating another piece of cake faster than you'd like to admit while feelings of guilt, shame and blame start to arise before the last bite is gone.
Can you remember a time you continued to eat so much food your stomach hurt, even though you knew you would regret it shortly afterwards?
Do you ever notice other things often distract you while you eat? Perhaps you routinely eat (and often overeat) without paying attention to what you're doing because you're distracted by a movie, a conversation over dinner or preoccupied with emails while working at your desk. Afterwards you're left feeling unsatisfied and wanting more, despite being full.
Have you ever eaten something and noticed that before you were even finished eating it, you were already lost in thoughts of how you wanted more of that food and had started mentally planning how you were going to get it?
Do you ever turn to food as a means of avoiding an uncomfortable situation or because you're procrastinating on a project, or simply because you feel bored? What about after an argument with a friend or your partner? Ever notice yourself automatically turning to the pleasure of food as a means of distracting yourself from feeling something you'd rather not feel?
What about using food as a pick-me-up from the pressures of leading a busy and stressful life, or as a way to wake yourself up when you're feeling tired or run down?
Whatever is the case for you, the common thread here is a tendency towards mindless eating, the antidote to which is mindful eating – the topic of this book.
At mindless times like these you can benefit from the practice of mindfulness, which helps you to snap out of that all-too-familiar knee-jerk reaction mode (see cake, eat cake) into conscious-choice mode (does my body really want cake right now? How will I feel after I eat this?).
This book is a guide to help you step out of the mindless