Mindful Eating: Finding Our Inner Strength

November 29, 2016 by School of Medicine Webmaster

Mindfulness is the practice of being in the present moment with no thought of the past or future.  Mindful eating is applying the practice of being in the moment to food consumption.  Joy, comfort and relief from stress is experienced when eating, however it is the food choices and actions that surround the meal time that can contribute to being overweight.  Absence of paying attention during our food choices can lead to unhealthy eating habits.

There are many triggers that encourage the need and desire to consume food.  The rituals we create consciously and unconsciously before, during and after meal time plays a role in how much and how often we eat.  However, being aware in the moment while selecting our meals and snacks contributes to healthy eating and weight control.  I have learned over the past year that being aware not only during the moment of eating but prior to when making the decision about what to eat, leads to a healthier body and lifestyle.  Recognizing our inner strength to stay dedicated and disciplined to the mindfulness practice is the first step towards successful control over unhealthy eating.

In November 2014 I applied skills learned in an 8 week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction class taken earlier in the year, to my eating habits.  This method of practice brought awareness to poor eating habits and rituals that surrounded each meal or snack time.  As a result of being aware in the moment, I began to make better choices with food, exercise and in daily decision making.  The practice of mindfulness aided me in a weight reduction of 58lbs from November 2014 to June 2015.  The continued practice has become a natural habit in my daily life; therefore, maintaining my new weight has not been a challenge but rather a healthier approach to each day.

Please look for part II of this article in the December 2016 issue.

Filed Under: News and Notes