When it comes down to it, mindful eating is all about taking control of your food choices and not being controlled by your hunger hormones or cravings. You remain present in each moment of your day, recognizing your hunger cues before you’re ravenous so you’re able to consciously choose foods that are truly satisfying and enjoyable.
Mindful eating involves relying on your intuition, which many of us have neglected in current diet culture. Much like my Body Love principles, mindful eating is not about restriction or deprivation, but loving and respecting your body. Its focus is on analyzing what your body needs and finding a place of balance. Blood sugar instability is often at the root of mindless eating. That’s why I recommend incorporating foods that regulate blood sugar, preventing spikes and the resulting cravings.
In my life and practice, I use the Fab Four—protein, fat, fiber, and greens—to build meals that are nutritious, satisfying, and keep blood sugar stable. Blood sugar stability makes mindfulness much easier because it lets you stay in tune with your needs. This puts you back in the driver’s seat to mindfully choose what, when, and why you eat.
Short-term, mindful eating cuts out the feelings of desperate hunger, crazy cravings, and confusion about what to eat when. You’re able to consciously choose meals based on what you need, rather than listening to or fighting your hunger hormones. Beyond these immediate benefits, mindful eating allows you to stay focused on your goals and make choices that will lead you closer to them one meal at a time. You get to take back control of your food choices and your health as a result.
So, where to begin? First of all, slow down and start early. Mindful eating is all about recognizing your hunger cues, and you’ll need to determine what those are before you’re feeling those familiar hunger pangs. Consider how you feel first thing in the morning—are you extremely hungry or maybe just thirsty?
And, what does it look like for children? It’s been said that babies naturally eat intuitively, eating when they’re hungry and stopping when they’re full. With that in mind, Chris and I fully respect our son’s innate ability to recognize his own hunger cues and choose what he wants to eat from what’s served. My son is young, so everything is basically a monkey see, monkey do situation right now. I’m sure this will evolve as he grows up, but for now we focus on serving foods that support rather than destabilize our blood sugar, letting him decide what and how much he eats from what we serve, and enjoying meals together.
Article inspired and published on Thrive Market’s Blog.