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You’ve probably heard of mindful eating, but what is it exactly? And more importantly, is it effective? Mindful eating is the practice of being present and aware while you’re eating. This means being aware of the taste, texture, and smell of your food, as well as how your body feels while you’re eating. It also means being aware of your emotions and thoughts while you’re eating.
The goal of mindful eating is to eat with intention and attention, without distractions. This means putting away your phone, turning off the TV, and really focusing on your meal. When you eat mindfully, you’re more likely to be aware of when you’re full, which can help you avoid overeating.
So, How Effective is Mindful Eating?
A study published in the journal Appetite found that people who ate mindfully consumed less food overall than those who didn’t eat mindfully. They also found that mindful eaters were more likely to make healthier choices, such as choosing fruits and vegetables over processed foods.
Another study published in the journal Obesity found that mindful eating may help people lose weight and keep it off. The study followed a group of overweight women for six months. Half of the women were taught how to eat mindfully, while the other half were not. At the end of the six months, the women who had been taught how to eat mindfully had lost an average of five pounds, while the other women had gained an average of three pounds.
So there you have it! Mindful eating is an effective way to lose weight and make healthier choices. If you’re looking to start eating mindfully, a good place to start is by putting away your phone and focusing on your meal. Pay attention to the taste, texture, and smell of your food, as well as how your body feels while you’re eating. And be sure to listen to your hunger cues! When you’re truly hungry, you’ll be more likely to enjoy your food and be satisfied with smaller portions.
Frequently Asked Questions
How effective is mindful eating? Being mindful of the food you eat can promote better digestion, keep you full with less food, and influence wiser choices about what you eat in the future. It can also help you free yourself from unhealthy habits around food and eating.
Is there research that suggest positive health benefits of mindfulness based eating? Several studies have shown that mindful eating strategies might help treat eating disorders and possibly help with weight loss. Psychologist Jean Kristeller at Indiana State University and colleagues at Duke University conducted an NIH-funded study of mindful eating techniques for treatment of binge eating.
Where does mindful eating come from? Mindful eating is based on mindfulness, a Buddhist concept. Mindfulness is a form of meditation that helps you recognize and cope with your emotions and physical sensations ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 ).
What is the mindful eating approach? Mindful eating (i.e., paying attention to our food, on purpose, moment by moment, without judgment) is an approach to food that focuses on individuals’ sensual awareness of the food and their experience of the food. It has little to do with calories, carbohydrates, fat, or protein.