How to Become a Mindful Eater - dummies

By Meri Reffetto

Emotional eating is usually unconscious eating, meaning you don’t really think about what you’re eating or why. You can score a major blow to your emotional-eating habit by being mindful of the foods you choose throughout the day. This awareness allows you to make choices instead of just going on auto-pilot and eating whatever’s around.

Following are some suggestions for becoming more mindful of what you eat each day:

  • Keep a food journal. A food journal makes you more conscious of your choices in the moment. Many people find that they do less unconscious eating when they’re jotting down what they eat on a regular basis.

  • Pay close attention to your hunger and fullness cues. Believe it or not, your body has its own built-in weight-management system, which can be described as hunger and satiety (feeling full).

    Your body literally tells you when to eat and when to stop. So that you don’t miss the signals, your body even takes matters a step further by making you feel starved if you wait too long to eat and stuffed when you eat too much. Paying attention to these cues can help you manage your weight more effectively.

    Ignoring your body’s hunger and fullness cues is all too easy to do when you’re eating for emotions, because it often takes more food to feel emotionally satisfied than physically full. Play the full game with yourself and pay close attention to when you feel comfortably full. When you do, it’s time to try your chosen healthy-yet-self-gratifying behavior.

  • Slow down and be conscious of taste and texture. With all the rush, rush, rush in today’s society, people tend to scarf down their food quickly, which can make emotional eating that much worse. Why, you ask? Because the quicker you eat, the more food you need to feel emotionally satisfied.

    Eating isn’t a race! Slow down and really pay attention to the food you’re eating. Enjoy its taste and texture in a leisurely manner. When you do, you find that you discover emotional satisfaction faster and with less food.

    Try this approach out with a few M&M’s or an ounce of chocolate. Spend as long as you can letting the candy melt in your mouth instead of just chewing it, swallowing it, and grabbing some more. You’ll find that you “need” much less candy than you thought you did!