I feel like it’s time for a blog rant. My last little tirade was on the Paleo diet in 2014 (you can read it here). So I’m well due for another rant, right? This time? On mindful eating.
Mindful eating is actually HOT right at the moment. On the one hand, I’m happy. I believe in it 100%. But…. You know. I’m also annoyed by it right now. There are still many insta-tribes and facey-folks using mindful eating to promote weight loss and fad dieting. So if you’re a health professional, clean eating warrior or instagram celebrity bandy-ing the term around, you’d better have your Zen boxing gloves on.
Just because you took a
privileged pretty picture of your dinner at a too-cool-for-school restaurant or a “before and after” weight loss pic and hashtagged it #mindfuleating, it doesn’t mean it’s #mindfuleating. In fact, you could be misleading the lovely folks who are trying to get happy about their relationship with food; potentially making them super confused”
Back to basics – what does it mean to be a mindful eater?
OK. For the last time, mindful eating is not a diet. It’s a way of eating based on a core philosophy of mindfulness. In fact, mindfulness and mindful eating go hand-in-hand.
Practising mindfulness means living moment to moment, paying close attention to your thoughts and everything around you – without judgement. (hot tip – focusing on a weight loss goal for sometime in the future is not living here and now).
When it comes to mindful eating, it’s not just a matter of saying
“I watch what I eat” “I’m mindful of what I eat”. Cos, let’s face it. Anyone can say that.
It’s more about being in the moment when you eat. It involves really, truly listening to your body and learning to TRUST YOUR BODY’s cues for when, how much and what to eat in a variety of situations. It’s about watching and learning from eating (without judgement). This happens by paying close attention to internal body cues like hunger, fullness and emotional triggers and also using your outer wisdom about nutrition.
“The long term aim of mindful eating is to feel at ease (aka happy) with every eating experience”
Let me cut to the chase….
What mindful eating will do for you
- help you eat slowly and savour food
- help you to connect with your own body’s cues of when, what and how much to eat
- help with exploring any personal triggers to eating
- help you feel happy about the eating experience
What mindful eating won’t do for you
- “fix” an acute eating disorder situation like Anorexia Nervosa
- help you eat less than your body requires
- guarantee you lose weight
- create world peace
Please think before using the term mindful eating. It’s awesome if it’s coming from a place of mindfulness. If it’s not, please note you are potentially harming vulnerable groups in our communities by doing so. Please stop.