Use this mindful eating exercise in order to compassionately explore your current eating habits and find out exactly what is and is not working for you.
Do you ever feel like nourishing yourself:
- Maybe you discover you’ re always hungry and have strong cravings.
- Or perhaps you know you can’t end snacking in the afternoon.
- Or that you feel tired plus sluggish all day.
But , what you can’t appear to figure out is how to pinpoint specifically what’s causing these feelings and behaviors.
When you don’t have the clarity of precisely what’s causing your block you’re not able to explore achievable solutions and better actions to aid yourself.
The first step whenever you’re noticing you are struggling with your eating habits or you wish to improve them in some way is to exercise this mindful eating exercise that will assist you to develop more awareness around your own eating behaviors so you have more clearness on the type of support you need.
These insights can help you uncover more supportive practices or even what’s working really well that you could expand upon, so you can feel completely confident in what’s effectively working for you.
How This Workout Will Support You
You might be wondering, what exactly will this workout help me do?
Here’ s an example from one of our users of the Mindful Nutrition Method program, Kelsey.
At the time, Kelsey was a busy regulation student, studying for exams, managing part-time work, an internship plus free-time.
After carrying out this exercise, she realized that one thing which was really impacting her day is that she was hardly eating because of stress and being so concentrated while studying.
Whenever she went to the library, she wouldn’t have food along with her unless it was a quick protein-bar and she realized it would be hours without eating. By the time she got home in the evenings, she felt uncomfortably hungry and that it lead her to overeat and have more powerful cravings from less nourishing foods.
Using these insights, she could then use the tools and procedures we teach her to sensitively address the eating patterns that weren’t supportive for her and to chose the right mindful consuming behaviors for her needs.
Getting awareness of your eating behaviors is really important to uncover the best actions, procedures, tools, and support you need to convey what you’d like from food.
How to Use This Mindful Consuming Exercise
This is a workout in, what I call, Compassionate Attention. It’s designed to help you get interested in why something may be while also being understanding, compassionate and non-judgemental with yourself.
The most important thing to bear in mind as you work through this exercise is to rehearse non-judgment. There is no “ good” or even “ bad” or “ right” or “ wrong”. The purpose would be to simply to bring awareness to your present habits so you can better support yourself — no shame, guilt, or even self-condemnation necessary.
It may be helpful for you to journal the answers to these questions just for 5 to 7 days, that way you are able to look back on the week in general and look for patterns.
1. Why Did You Eat?
The first question to explore is why do you eat?
Many times, we consume because we’re hungry and can feel the physical hunger for the human body.
At the same time, we often consume for other reasons because so many different aspects influence our food choices.
For example , you may find yourself consuming because you’re stressed or even bored. You might also eat if you’re in a social situation that’ s centered around food. Or even it could be because you see something within your environment (like snacks out on the particular counter) that triggers you to reach for that will food, even if you’ re not really physically hungry.
There are several different reasons for why you ate, plus none of them are right or incorrect. Yes, we want our physical food cravings to guide our choices, but what’s more important is that you are also making an intentional choice.
If you just had supper but you’ d like treat because you’re celebrating someone’s birthday, you may not be literally hungry. That doesn’t imply you shouldn’t have the dessert, but you are making an intentional selection to have the cake because your also celebrating rather than unintentionally choosing to get cake when you don’t wish it.
2 . Exactly what Did You Eat?
Required to reflect on what you consumed. Now, this should not be tracking calories or measuring out specific offering sizes here.
Exactly what you’ re looking for is simply to create awareness to the types of foods you ate to see if you were able to obtain the nourishment you need. This will also display if you were able to practice balance all through your day by highlighting if you furthermore had foods that you enjoy, even though they aren’ t nutrient-dense.
The goal isn’t clean eating, but rather finding stability.
3. Why Do You Choose to Eat What You Did?
Next, ask yourself why you produced the food choices you created.
Did you create those choices because you need nutrition? Or because you really enjoy them? Does the diet you’ve tried influence you by any means?
Here is a couple of examples:
- You may notice that you were producing lunch and you wanted something adding nourishment so you felt energized throughout the mid-day and into the evening. So you made a decision to make a nourish bowl with lots of greens, quinoa, tofu, veggies, as well as your favorite dressing.
- You may eat a frozen meal for lunch because you were exhausted from the day and you didn’t really feel like cooking
- Or maybe you had been really craving pasta for dinner yet decided against it because you noticed that you shouldn’t eat carbohydrates in the evening.
These types of will all sound different each and every meal, so explore what really guided your food choices and observe what’s influencing you.
It could be old food guidelines from diets, it could be your mood or even energy level, it could be a lack of time or even lack of inspiration for what to create. See what comes up for you.
4. How Did You really feel?
Next, reflect on the way you felt after eating.
Notice the physical sensations in your body.
- Did you feel pleased or were you hungry one hour later?
- Did you consume too much and feel uncomfortably complete?
- Did anything you consume upset your own stomach or cause you to feel low in energy?
- Did you enjoy what you ate?
- Did you feel guilty right after eating what you did?
Starting to notice how exactly what feels really great for your unique entire body and what doesn’t feel ideal for you, will allow you to feel more confident for making choices for yourself.
5. When Did You Eat?
The next aspect to reflect on is mindful eating.
Noticing the different moments of day you eat can help reveal patterns, such as how filling meals are or if your also always hungry at a certain time, or if you’ re a lot more prone to eating out of boredom or even stress (or other factors) throughout a particular time of day.
6. Where Did You Eat?
Where you ate is another important factor to learn.
While life isn’t always perfect and you find there is going to be times when you simply can’t sit down to eat at the desk, noticing where you’re consuming most often and how this impacts your choices will provide you with some insights into your habits.
7. How Did You consume?
And finally, what adjectives would you use to describe how you consumed at that meal?
Were you slow and mindful? Rushed? Distracted?
Once again, nothing is perfect and it’s not always possible to be in a slower and present mindset while you consume, however , if you notice you’re consuming in a way that doesn’t feel completely present most often, you can begin exploring methods to add a little more mindfulness so you can encounter your meal.
What you should Reflect on After Your Mindful Eating exercise
After you’ve attempted this mindful eating exercise for some days, go through your journal and begin to look for patterns.
Maybe you notice you eat breakfast at 9 a.m but by 10 a. m. you are usually hungry again. That’s a sign that you may need a more filling breakfast.
Or maybe you see that whenever you are around sweets, you really feel out of control and tend to over indulge. That’s likely a sign that you’ve been too restrictive and you might need to practice more balance.
Uncovering the patterns within your eating behaviors is the first phase, but it take time, patience, assistance and support to know exactly how to deal with these patterns and create a lot more supportive eating habits.
That’s exactly what we’re in charge of. When you’re ready to convey balance and consistency with your consuming patterns.
Part of the Diet for Weight Loss Editorial Team 2021