Practicing Mindful Eating: Steps and Resources

Mindful Eating Resources

During the NAP Challenge we learn about eating a plant-focused diet. While learning about foods to eat more and less often, and guidelines for how much to eat for sustaining good health, we also explore mindful eating.

According to The Center for Mindful Eating, mindfulness in eating includes:

  • Allowing yourself to become aware of the positive and nurturing opportunities that are available through food selection and preparation by respecting your own inner wisdom.
  • Using all your senses in choosing to eat food that is both satisfying to you and nourishing to your body.
  • Acknowledging responses to food (likes, dislikes or neutral) with out judgment.
  • Becoming aware of physical hunger and satiety cues to guide your decisions to begin and end eating.

During the NAP Challenge we will explore Intuitive Eating. Intuitive Eating includes the principles of mindful eating. In addition, intuitive eating includes:

  • Seeing satisfaction as a focal point in eating.
  • Engaging in physical activity/movement for the sake of feeling good.
  • Rejecting the dieting mentality.
  • Using nutrition information without judgment.
  • Respecting your body, regardless of how you feel about its shape.

(Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works, Tribole and Resch, 2012.)

 

Mindful Eating Discussion 1: Reject the Diet Mentality

Throw out the diet books and magazine articles that offer false hope for quick and easy weight loss. Get angry at lies that lead you to feel as if you were a failure every time a new diet stopped working and you gained back all the weight. If you allow even one small hope to linger that a new and better quick-loss diet might be lurking around the corner, it will prevent you from being free to rediscover Intuitive Eating.

Join the members-only NAP Challenge Facebook for more in-depth discussions.

Learn more about Intuitive Eating at www.intuitiveeating.org

Mindful Eating Discussion 2: Honor Your Hunger

Keep your body biologically fed with adequate energy and carbohydrates. Otherwise you can trigger a primal drive to overeat. Once you reach the moment of excessive hunger, all intentions of moderate, conscious eating are fleeting and irrelevant. Learning to honor this first biological signal sets the stage for re-building trust with yourself and food.

Join the members-only NAP Challenge Facebook for more in-depth discussions.

Learn more about Intuitive Eating at www.intuitiveeating.org

 

Mindful Eating Discussion 3: Make Peace with Food

Call a truce, stop the food fight! Give yourself unconditional permission to eat. If you tell yourself that you can’t or shouldn’t have a particular food, it can lead to intense feelings of deprivation that build into uncontrollable cravings and, often, bingeing. When you finally “give-in” to your forbidden food, eating will be experienced with such intensity, it usually results in Last Supper overeating, and overwhelming guilt.

Join the members-only NAP Challenge Facebook for more in-depth discussions.

Learn more about Intuitive Eating at www.intuitiveeating.org

 

Mindful Eating Discussion 4: Challenge the Food Police

Scream a loud “NO” to thoughts in your head that declare you’re “good” for eating minimal calories or “bad” because you ate a piece of chocolate cake. The Food Police monitor the unreasonable rules that dieting has created. The police station is housed deep in your psyche, and its loud speaker shouts negative barbs, hopeless phrases, and guilt-provoking indictments. Chasing the Food Police away is a critical step in returning to Intuitive Eating.

Join the members-only NAP Challenge Facebook for more in-depth discussions.

Learn more about Intuitive Eating at www.intuitiveeating.org

 

Mindful Eating Discussion 5: Respect Your Fullness

Listen for the body signals that tell you that you are no longer hungry. Observe the signs that show that you’re comfortably full. Pause in the middle of a meal or food and ask yourself how the food tastes, and what is your current fullness level?

Join the members-only NAP Challenge Facebook for more in-depth discussions.

Learn more about Intuitive Eating at www.intuitiveeating.org

 

Mindful Eating Discussion 6: Discover the Satisfaction Factor

The Japanese have the wisdom to promote pleasure as one of their goals of healthy living In our fury to be thin and healthy, we often overlook one of the most basic gifts of existence–the pleasure and satisfaction that can be found in the eating experience. When you eat what you really want, in an environment that is inviting and conducive, the pleasure you derive will be a powerful force in helping you feel satisfied and content. By providing this experience for yourself, you will find that it takes much less food to decide you’ve had “enough”.

Join the members-only NAP Challenge Facebook for more in-depth discussions.

Learn more about Intuitive Eating at www.intuitiveeating.org

 

Mindful Eating Discussion 7. Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food

Find ways to comfort, nurture, distract, and resolve your issues without using food. Anxiety, loneliness, boredom, anger are emotions we all experience throughout life. Each has its own trigger, and each has its own appeasement. Food won’t fix any of these feelings. It may comfort for the short term, distract from the pain, or even numb you into a food hangover. But food won’t solve the problem. If anything, eating for an emotional hunger will only make you feel worse in the long run. You’ll ultimately have to deal with the source of the emotion, as well as the discomfort of overeating.

Join the members-only NAP Challenge Facebook for more in-depth discussions.

Learn more about Intuitive Eating at www.intuitiveeating.org

 

Mindful Eating Discussion 8. Respect Your Body

Accept your genetic blueprint. Just as a person with a shoe size of eight would not expect to realistically squeeze into a size six, it is equally as futile (and uncomfortable) to have the same expectation with body size. But mostly, respect your body, so you can feel better about who you are. It’s hard to reject the diet mentality if you are unrealistic and overly critical about your body shape.

Join the members-only NAP Challenge Facebook for more in-depth discussions.

Learn more about Intuitive Eating at www.intuitiveeating.org

 

Mindful Eating Discussion 9. Exercise–Feel the Difference

Forget militant exercise. Just get active and feel the difference. Shift your focus to how it feels to move your body, rather than the calorie burning effect of exercise. If you focus on how you feel from working out, such as energized, it can make the difference between rolling out of bed for a brisk morning walk or hitting the snooze alarm. If when you wake up, your only goal is to lose weight, it’s usually not a motivating factor in that moment of time.

Join the members-only NAP Challenge Facebook for more in-depth discussions.

Learn more about Intuitive Eating at www.intuitiveeating.org

Mindful Eating Discussion 10. Honor Your Health

Gentle Nutrition: Make food choices that honor your health and taste buds while making you feel well. Remember that you don’t have to eat a perfect diet to be healthy. You will not suddenly get a nutrient deficiency or gain weight from one snack, one meal, or one day of eating. It’s what you eat consistently over time that matters, progress not perfection is what counts.

Join the members-only NAP Challenge Facebook for more in-depth discussions.

Learn more about Intuitive Eating at www.intuitiveeating.org