Home » 5 Stunning Mindful Eating Benefits To Help You Decide If It Is Right For You

5 Stunning Mindful Eating Benefits To Help You Decide If It Is Right For You

Sarah Had A Huge Problem With Her Eating Habits

Sarah dreamed about eating the foods that she loved but didn’t dare eat them. She felt tired to her core. Sarah thought about her food choices and followed her diet 24/7. Ultimately, Sarah wished she could stop obsessing over food.

Have you ever felt like Sarah?

Do you want to learn how to reconnect with eating and stop worrying about food? Let’s talk about a tool for your toolbox that can help.

What Is Mindfulness

mindfulness rock stack

Have you heard about mindfulness? It is being in the moment. Acting with purpose and letting go of judgment allows you to focus on your actions.

Mindfulness works with a variety of activities. You can be mindful when eating, exercising, and, even, in your relationships.

Mindful Eating

Sarah struggled with judging herself harshly food thoughts. She got so wrapped up in thinking about meals that she forgot to eat with purpose. Mindful eating was the key to reconnecting with food for Sarah.

It can be for you too.

How do you extend the theory of mindfulness to food?

Mindful eating is a way of eating in which you focus on feeding yourself foods that nourish and satisfy you. You give your food your full attention when eating. In addition, you check in with yourself emotionally and physically through the eating process.

Mindful eating allows you to regain trust in your body and reconnect with the joy of eating.

Want to know more about how to start eating mindfully? Here is a step-by-step mindful eating checklist with a downloadable pdf.

Mindful eating can be used as a catch-all term for a variety of eating behaviors. It’s easy to understand how you could be surprised about what mindful eating isn’t.

List: What mindful eating is and isn't

Mindful eating isn’t intuitive eating.

Intuitive eating is a way of eating naturally. It encompasses different strategies that I will cover in a later post. But one of the components of intuitive eating is mindful eating.

Intuitive eating is a way of eating naturally. It encompasses different strategies that I will cover in a later post. But one of the components of intuitive eating is mindful eating.

Mindful eating isn’t for stress relief.

When you hear mindfulness, you may think of reducing stress. But mindful eating isn’t about stress relief. Mindful eating is simply a way to break free from the judgments you have about your food choices.

Can mindful eating reduce your food-related stress? It absolutely can. However, this isn’t the main point of mindful eating. 

Mindful eating shouldn’t be used for weight loss.

This is a common complaint I hear from clients. In Sarah’s old diet life, she tried mindful eating as a way to lose weight. So when we started talking about it as a way to reconnect to food, it felt odd to her.

It might seem odd to you too.

Think about the last time you read about mindful eating. It was probably within a dieting context. The idea people have is that if you are eating mindfully, you might eat less. The truth is that research on this is mixed.1

When mindful eating gets co-opted by the diet crowd, it takes the focus off how mindful eating can help you stop restricting food.

I don’t recommend the use of mindful eating for weight loss. It is well-known that weight loss isn’t realistic for most people. And even when weight loss is achieved, it is typically short-lived.

If you begin mindful eating with the intention to lose weight, you will be disappointed and stop when that weight loss doesn’t appear.

What Mindful Eating Is

Food Job, body trust, and food freedom text on white daisy heart

A Tool To Reconnect With The Joy of Food

How is your relationship with food? Let me guess. You struggle with it. Like Sarah, you want to love food but it hasn’t happened for you yet. Mindful eating’s food meditations about focusing on what you love about focusing on the joy and pleasure of eating.

A Way To Find Trust In Your Body

Eating this way can help you develop self-confidence in your food choices, understand your eating habits, and trust in your ability to nourish your body.

That may seem like a pie-in-the-sky idea. But it is true! You can find empowerment through mindful eating. In fact, some researchers think that women struggle with emotional eating because we question ourselves and lack trust in our decisions.2

A Way To Break Free Of Automatic Eating

Automatic eating is eating based on your emotions, surroundings, and regular habits. Mindful eating guides you in focusing on these things.3

What’s that mean?

Once you can determine the why behind your automatic eating, you have the power to make changes.

Think that eating this way is always a bad thing? I understand.

Keep reading to find out why I don’t think your emotional eating is always a bad thing.

5 Shocking Benefits of Mindful Eating

woman working for results she can achieve.

The importance of mindful eating can’t be understated. My clients have found that mindful eating is a huge part of their success in finding joy in food again. And research has solidified many of the benefits that practitioners of mindful eating knew.

When Sarah started mindful eating strategies, she gained so much. Let’s look at some of the benefits that she found from mindful eating.

While you read these, imagine how great it would be if you could have these too.

Guess what? You 100% can see these results too.

1. You can reduce emotional eating and binge eating.1

If you are here, you’ve probably realized that you have emotional eating tendencies. This can make you feel out of control around food. It can cause anxiety and shame.

If you feel like you really struggle with this, mindful eating can help. Why?

Great question. It forces you to check in with yourself. Some feelings lead you to comfort eat.

This is powerful information! When eating mindfully, you are aware of feelings that are challenging. Feelings that lead to emotional eating for you before can be now managed with other coping skills.

Remember when I asked if emotional eating is always a bad thing?

Well, it isn’t. The fact is that many of us use food as a comfort.

Your emotional eating is actually a form of self-care. You are trying to take care of yourself the best way that your know-how.

There are other ways to practice self-care that may better serve you. But practicing mindful eating is a great first step in finding other ways to care for yourself.

Do you struggle with binge eating? Mindful eating helps in a similar way.1 These mindful eating exercises are worth exploring.

Empty plate that shows emotional eating may be your way of taking care of yourelf.

2. You can build self-confidence and body trust.2

Your emotional eating can lead to a lack of confidence in yourself and in your ability to make food choices. I get it. Sometimes you can feel out of control.

By checking in with yourself and recognizing feelings that lead to emotional eating, you connect with something powerful. You can look back over past situations and realize that you weren’t out of control. You were simply taking care of yourself the best way that you could.

Realizing that is powerful.

Through eating mindfully, you develop new tools to help you manage uncomfortable emotions.

Yes, you may occasionally eat emotionally even after practicing mindful eating. That is okay. Through mindful eating, you recognize that occasional emotional eating situations don’t make you a bad person. Emotionally, you can move on quickly from the event.

3. You can reduce anxiety and depression.3

It makes sense, doesn’t it?

Emotional eating, binge eating, and lack of trust in yourself can cause a lot of stress! Feeling like you are out of control around food can be damaging.

Feeling anxiety around food choices seems only natural when you feel out of control. Additionally, you may even have feelings of guilt and shame. For some, this can lead to depression.

If you can embrace mindful eating, you can find food peace. And food peace is a key component of lessening feelings of anxiety that come with an unhealthy relationship with food.

4. It may help you eat more fruits and vegetables.3

You’ve heard it over and over, right? Fruits and vegetables are good for you.

And it is true! Including fruits and vegetables can help your blood pressure, gastrointestinal system, and keep your bowel movements regular. They are powerhouses of nutrition. The more variety, the better.

But it can be hard to eat enough. Researchers found that by eating mindfully you can increase your intake of these foods.

How? Well, an element of mindful eating is selecting foods that will nourish you. You know fruits and vegetables are good for you. Mindful eating gives you that extra push to include them.

Does Mindful Eating Work?

Get ready for the good news. The answer is yes!

You can have the mindful eating benefits we laid out above. You can gain confidence in your food choices. You can reduce emotional and binge eating. You can finally stop feeling so stressed and anxious about food.

Research study after research study supports the effectiveness of mindful eating.

Is It Right For You?

It can be hard to decide if a radical change to your eating habits is right for you.

If you struggle with emotional eating, binge eating, anxiety and stress about your food choices, or lack of self-confidence around meals, then the answer is yes! Mindful eating is likely right for you.

Changing your eating habits to include mindful eating can change your life for the better.

Conclusion

Listen up.

Mindful eating is important.

It is key to creating a positive relationship with food, finding confidence in your food choices, and, truly, reconnecting with the joy of eating.

I am not overselling the benefits of mindful eating. You can have these results for yourself:

Reduce emotional and binge eating

Build self-confidence and body trust

Reduce anxiety and depression

Help you eat more fruits and vegetables

Don’t you want to be like Sarah? Finding freedom from the anxiety and stress you usually connect to food doesn’t have to be something you only dream about.

You deserve freedom.

References:

  1. Katterman, S. N., Kleinman, B. M., Hood, M. M., Nackers, L. M., & Corsica, J. A. (2014). Mindfulness meditation as an intervention for binge eating, emotional eating, and weight loss: A systematic review. Eating Behaviors, 15(2), 197–204. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eatbeh.2014.01.005
  2. Beccia, A. L., Ruf, A., Druker, S., Ludwig, V. U., & Brewer, J. A. (2020). Women’s experiences with a mindful eating program for binge and emotional eating: A qualitative investigation into the process of change. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 26(10), 937–944. https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2019.0318
  3. Miller, C. K. (2017). Mindful eating with diabetes. Diabetes Spectrum, 30(2), 89–94. https://doi.org/10.2337/ds16-0039
  4. Hunnicut, C. (2020, November 19). Mindful exercises that can help with binge eating disorder treatment – oliver-pyatt centers. Oliver-Pyatt Centers. Retrieved November 8, 2021, from https://www.oliverpyattcenters.com/binge-eating-disorder-treatment-mindful-exercises/.

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