Mindful and Intuitive Eating
What is Mindful Eating?
Mindful eating is when you take notice of all that surrounds you before, during and after a meal. Mindful eating involves using all of your senses (sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch) when you eat. Eating this way allows you to look at food in a new way. Try asking yourself the questions below.
- When was the last time you noticed what your food looks like?
- Are you used to being on ‘automatic pilot’ (eating your food really fast without thinking, noticing or tasting it)?
- Do you notice how your food smells?
- Do you listen to sounds, like crunching?
- How often do you take the time to taste your food, notice the textures and savour the flavours?
- Do you notice how food feels when you are cooking or baking it?
- Do you notice how food feels while you are eating it?
Mindful eating is not something most people can do all of the time. But, you can plan to practice mindful eating some of the time. At these moments, allow yourself to enjoy eating with nothing else on your mind.
Try to make mindful eating a habit. This habit can lead to a better feeling about the role of food in your life.
What Is Intuitive Eating?
It’s Okay to Enjoy Food
Mindful eating is when you take notice of all that surrounds you before, during, and after a meal.
- Mindful eating is not a way to have control over your food.
- It means you are aware of your thoughts, feelings, and actions around food because you are fully present.
Intuitive eating is your innate sense of what is right or wrong for your body.
- Notice how you feel when you eat to learn how your body responds to certain foods.
- Being aware of what is causing you to want to eat can help you learn why you eat.
The word “intuitive” is a feeling you have that is based on what you sense to be true. Intuitive eating is your innate sense of what is right or wrong for your body.
Intuitive eating is:
- Eating in response to what you feel inside your body
- Eating when you are hungry and stopping when you have had enough (not too much)
- Being aware of your likes and dislikes of certain foods and eating foods that feel right to you
- Being aware allows you to get more pleasure when you eat
When you practice intuitive eating, you will start to notice how certain foods make you feel. If a certain food makes you feel bloated you may choose not to eat that food again. For example, someone who is lactose intolerant can recall how dairy products make them feel after eating. They can then make a choice to eat food with dairy or not.
Notice how you feel when you eat to learn how your body responds to certain foods. You can help yourself feel better by asking yourself two questions.
- Am I hungry?
- What am I feeling? For example, sad, bored, angry, lonely.
Does the way you feel trigger the need to eat? Being aware of what is causing you to want to eat can help you learn why you eat. It is okay to feel what you feel. Try not to judge your feelings. Instead, accept what happens and make a choice. Choose to eat or not to eat. If you choose to eat, then eat and be mindful. Do not judge yourself.
How Can Mindful And Intuitive Eating Help You Manage Diabetes?
Mindful and intuitive eating can help you manage your diabetes. Notice how you feel in body and mind before and after eating. Check your blood sugar at different times to learn more about how your body responds based on how you feel and what you do.
- Check your blood sugar when you feel hungry to learn about yourself. Your blood sugar may or may not be low.
- Check your blood sugar 2 hours after a meal to learn how your body responds to the type and amount of foods you ate.