After school I went overseas and food became a second priority to traveling to new places. My eating was worse than ever and usually consisted of whatever was cheapest. Fast forward a few years and after years spent backpacking, boozing, nasty drunken eats followed by dirty hungover feeds, I arrived back in Australia feeling bloated with bad skin and embarrassed to see anyone in the state I returned home in.
It was around this time I realised that what I was eating and drinking had a direct relation to how I was feeling, not only physically but emotionally. The bad food choices I was making had a big part to play with it, but an even bigger part was how I ate emotionally and mindlessly. For the very first time in my life, I stopped and actually thought about food.
Food. Have you ever stopped to wonder what it is? Why we eat it? Why we crave it? Where it came from? Just by asking yourself these questions we begin the simple practise of mindful eating. By eating mindfully, not only do you get to experience all the incredible taste, sensations and textures food has to offer, but you're able to differentiate the emotions that you feel before, during and after eating. Put simply, mindful eating is learning to pay attention.
So how did mindful eating help you ditch the diet and eat food to nourish your body? Before your next meal take a second to appreciate and think about what you're about to eat.
- What is it?
- Where did it come from?
- Is it healthy?
- What is your body going to gain from eating it?
- What does it look like? How was it made?
- Is it processed?
- What are your emotions before, during and after eating?
- How does it taste?
- How does it make you feel?
- Why am I eating this?
By taking a moment to consider all the effects that food has on your body, you will begin to reap the all the benefits mindful eating has offer.
- You will learn to control emotional eating by becoming in tune with how you feel before, during and after eating. You will learn to eat when you're hungry and stop when you are full. This can also help control overeating in social settings.
- Really taste the foods you are eating and start enjoying healthy foods. By taking a second to think of how certain foods make you feel, you might discover that the "delicious" unhealthy foods aren't as appealing as you thought.
- Eat foods to fuel you for the day. Discover which foods best effect your mood and energy. This can be used to better enhance your workout, work and social life. Just by eating the right foods you will find you have more energy to enjoy life.
In today's fast paced world with work deadlines, social commitments, family time, pre-packaged and fast food options more readily available, perhaps eating has become second nature and we have forgotten to enjoy and experience all the amazing benefits food has to offer. Try mindful eating during your next meal and discover the amazing benefits.
By Talia Hayman, Personal Trainer Vision Bondi Junction*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.