What is an eating disorder?
Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder
Disclaimer: Although we believe in the power of professional help, you are responsible for selecting the provider or treatment. PXU cannot accept responsibility for any of the services provided by these or any other providers.
Eating Disorder Hotline Listings
Mindful eating is a simple-to-learn life skill which can lead people to enjoy a satisfying, healthy and enjoyable relationship with food. It is a skill that can help people break free from ‘food rules’ and begin to enjoy healthy, flexible and relaxed eating practices. Mindful eating is not a diet. Mindful eating is about the way we eat, not what we eat.
Being mindful is about focusing your attention and awareness on the present moment to help disconnect from habitual, unsatisfying and harmful habits and behaviors. Mindful eating, put simply, is the opposite of mindless eating. The mindful eating approach employs strategies which can help change the way we respond to food, both physically and emotionally. Adopting a mindful eating mentality involves: Being aware of the positive and nurturing opportunities of food preparation and consumption Choosing to eat food that is both pleasing and nourishing to the body by using your senses to explore, savor and taste Acknowledging responses to food without judgement Being aware of physical hunger and satiety cues to guide decisions to start and stop eating Identifying personal triggers for mindless eating whether they are emotions, social pressures or certain foods.
Research shows that mindful eating may help people control binge eating and overeating, enjoy food and feel more in touch with the body’s internal hunger and satiety signals. A lot of us may not be aware of the reasons we engage in mindless eating. Some common contributors can be: Not recognizing the difference between hungry and non-hungry eating; Not stopping to listen to what your body signals are telling you; Confusing hunger and thirst Allowing yourself to get too hungry and/or eating too fast Eating an amount that should make you feel full, but not feeling satisfied Eating in case you get hungry at a later stage Eating in response to emotions Eating to allay a state of mind such as boredom or tiredness. The mindful eating approach employs strategies which encourage awareness of the senses while eating to bring you into the present moment. These strategies include: keeping a mindful journal, slowing down while eating, focusing on eating (not watching television or reading), and mindful food shopping and preparation. Mindless eating is common because from a very early age we are trained to eat in response to external cues (time of day, availability of certain foods, for comfort, to alleviate boredom, out of habit, to clear our plate, as a reward) rather than in response to hunger.
You might also like to try journaling, which is a mindfulness based practice. You should use a method or technique of journaling that suits you and is sustainable over a long period of time. Some people like to carry a notebook or journal around with them; some people keep a journal to write in before they go to bed. Others keep a food diary or notes on their computer. It doesn’t really matter what you write, it can be a list of foods you ate, a poem, a description of your feelings or a drawing. Yoga, meditation and walking meditation are also mindfulness based activities you might like to try.