Mindful eating is “an approach that involves bringing one’s full attention to the process of eating —to all the tastes, smells, thoughts, and feelings that arise during a meal”.
Source: Book “Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat”.
What it basically means: don’t eat in front of television, in your car, or when you’re standing/walking; sit, take your time, enjoy and know when to stop. Ok, nothing you didn’t already know!
Born and raised in France, I think I’m already quite ‘mindful’ when it comes to food. However, I found the following ‘cheat sheet’ of mindful eating reminders in the Dutch edition of “Psychologies Magazine” and it got me thinking. I thought it was quite interesting, but maybe a bit controversial, so I decided to translate the page for my international readers.
The purpose of the cheat sheet is to cut out and post reminders in strategic places. Places you see regularly throughout the day. Reminders are supposed to grab your attention and interrupt your autopilot mode.
I didn’t post all the reminders in all the ‘strategic places’, but I posted a couple of them on my fridge. To some extend, it’s true that it can help you be more attentive to what you really need in place of food.
However, I think that some of these reminders do create the idea that food is something to be restricted and appetites to be denied. For me these reminders put too much emphasis on restriction rather than accepting food, appetites, and tuning into hunger and fullness. I honestly think that even if these reminders sound reasonable and come from “Psychology Magazine”, this kind of thinking could potentially lead some people to an eating disorder.
Furthermore, I’m not a big advocate of ‘mindfulness’ for everything. I enjoy doing certain things mindlessly: getting lost in the music during a spinning class, or mindlessly watching bad reality-TV :)
I’d be curious to know what you think about these reminders. Do you think they can be useful, or do you think that some of them are borderline unhealthy?