Emotional eating is eating for reasons other than hunger, stress, boredom, sadness, and loneliness, to name a few. Actual hunger is slowly building, can be ignored for a short amount of time, and you will stop eating when you are full. Emotional hunger comes on suddenly, you feel as if you need to eat right away, and many continue to eat even after they feel full. I talked about this concept of emotional or “mind hunger” in my 10 Day Juice Fast.
Food acts as a drug to comfort or to numb feelings. An emotional eater often has feelings of overwhelm, emptiness, and dissatisfaction. They have an unhealthy relationship with food, and many emotional eaters struggle with diets, unable to stick to the rules.
Mindful eating is the process of putting intention behind they way you eat. Slowing down and savoring your food. This is so important for people who emotionally eat, because it forces you to slow down and think about what you are eating, and gives your stomach time to tell your brain you are full. Plus it builds a healthy relationship with food! Being curious and learning about your body and it’s needs is an excellent way to stop emotional eating once and for all.
Here are some ways to mindfully eat:
Start slow incorporate a few at a time
5-15 seconds be grateful for your food. For where it came from, who grew it, and yourself if you made it.
Center your energy in the middle of your body to aid digestion. Place your hands on your belly and breathe deeply and slowly.
Set an intention before to have a relaxed meal.
Light a candle.
Chew your food. 25, 50, try 100 times per bite. The more you chew, the more saliva is produced which actually create a chemical reaction that helps to break down your food more. In turn making it easier to digest and you will get more nutrients from less food.
Put your fork down between each bite.
Use all your senses, notice how the food tastes, smells, looks, feels inside your mouth, and even how it sounds when you chew it.
Be curious, ask your body how it feels when you are eating
Ask, Am I still hungry? Slide your plate to the side and wait 10 minutes and check in, if you are still hungry, keep eating.
Save your food, keep leftovers in the fridge for the next day or later if you want.