Dear Women’s Journal Reader,
My Motto: Mindful eating begins with changing what’s in your mind versus what’s on your fork
I start a meal by thinking to myself: I am going to enjoy this meal mindfully. I’m going to eat until I am satisfied, not overly full. This thought sets the tone. Try it today. Before you take a bite, repeat it silently to yourself or whatever intention makes sense to you. (ex. eat slowly, eat nutrient dense food etc).
I know that thoughts play a powerful role in your relationship with food, and by cultivating a more mindful approach to your thinking, you can improve your overall relationship with food and your body.
Here are some tips for thinking mindfully about eating:
Notice your thoughts around food: Start by paying attention to the thoughts that come up around food. Do you find yourself thinking about food constantly, or feeling guilty or ashamed after eating? Notice these thoughts without judgment, and try to approach them with curiosity and compassion.
Cultivate self-awareness: Practice tuning in to your body and your emotions before, during, and after eating. Ask yourself questions like, “Am I truly hungry right now?” or “How does this food make me feel?” This can help you make more mindful choices about what and how you eat.
Practice mindful decision-making: Before making a food choice, take a moment to pause and consider your options. Ask yourself what your body needs in that moment, and what will truly nourish you. This can help you make choices that are aligned with your hunger and taste.
Challenge negative thoughts: If you notice negative or self-critical thoughts around food, try to challenge them with more neutral and compassionate ones. For example, if you find yourself thinking, “I shouldn’t eat this,” try reframing that thought to, “I can enjoy this food mindfully and without guilt.”
Say goodbye to diet rules. Notice when old diet rules pop into your mind. Label them as old thoughts that no longer serve you.
Remember, mindful eating is a journey, and it starts with cultivating a more mindful approach to your thinking. By paying attention to your thoughts and cultivating self-awareness and self-compassion, you can improve your relationship with food and your body, and enjoy a more fulfilling and nourishing approach to eating.
Mindfully yours, Dr. Susan Albers
P.S. Want to learn more? Visit Dr. Albers’ Amazon page OR her Mindful Eating Program page.
P.S.S BIG NEWS If you are a professional (dietitian, physician, therapist), take a sneak peek at my NEW free, Mindful Eating handout AND a VIDEO that you can use in your practice. A MUST-HAVE!! CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD