Hello Internet people!
It has been a hot minute since we last chatted, and if you remember, we were talking about Calories. We explored what a calorie is and what it means for our bodies, then we quickly reviewed ways to take the information we learned and apply it to lose weight and become healthier. In both of the ways I mentioned, I used this term “mindful eating”, and I talked just a little about it previously, but let’s go ahead and explore that topic a little more so we can really understand.
Mindful eating is an approach that is different from counting calories and very different from restriction and deprivation. Essentially, mindful eating is a system where you use a little bit of common sense combined with a little bit of food education to make the proper choices for your body. In mindful eating, you look to fuel your body with foods that are nutrient dense. Nutrient dense foods are foods that are rich in vitamins and good for you components that will satisfy your bodies needs in order to function optimally. So lets look at an example – you’re at a coffee shop and you want something to eat, you are flooded with the sight of pastries and donuts, cakes and muffins, but there are also some fruit cups and veggie platters scattered about. In terms of mindful eating, we would look at the muffins and such and think: wow, those look bomb, but what will I get from that? Then, we would compare the nutrition of said muffin with the nutrition of the fruit and veggie platters. You would get much more benefit from consuming the fruits and veggies than if you ate the muffin.
It kind of comes down to how your body is going to feel after you eat a certain food. Am I going to be happy in an hour after I eat that cake? Is all that sugar going to make me crash at my desk? Will I feel fueled and ready to attack my afternoon? Now, I know some of you are thinking “sugary foods don’t effect me” and “I’m perfectly happy eating the way I eat”. However, I challenge you to compare foods in terms of nutrient density, pick the better option, and see how you feel after a few days. When your body is getting all the B vitamins, the vitamins A, C, and E, the potassium, calcium and the fiber, you are going to really feel those benefits.
Now does this mean you cut out the foods that aren’t as nutrient dense as others? Heck no. Like I said above, mindful eating is not about restriction and deprivation. Mindful eating is about knowing what your body wants, following internal cues, even if that internal cue is telling you to eat some chocolate. We want everything in moderation, and that moderation is really dependent on that specific food. If you want a donut, have a donut, but don’t sit at the counter and eat six of them, ya know what I mean?
So, there ya have it – a crash course on mindful eating. Any questions? Leave them in the comments below!
Until next time,