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What does it mean to be a mindful eater? 

Mindful eating is about maintaining an in-the-moment awareness of the food and drink you are consuming in the present. Mindful eaters take notice of the taste, smell, texture and temperature of their food. They also listen to their body by asking questions like, “What do I want to eat and what am I hungry for?” They listen to their hunger and fullness signals by asking questions like, “Am I still feeling hungry or am I feeling full now?” Mindful eaters also make it a point not to judge themselves or their food choices. They show self-compassion and approach their eating patterns with curiosity.

Mindful eating is a key skill that will not only help you reach your weight loss goals, but it will help you maintain a healthy weight long term. 

Almost everyone is born with the innate ability to eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. Physical hunger is useful. It is your body’s way of telling you it needs fuel. Physical hunger can feel different to different people. Some people experience a grumbling in their stomach, while others may feel a gnawing sensation. 

As you grew older, you may have lost your natural hunger and fullness cues, or maybe you learned to ignore them. Maybe you grew up being told you need to clean your plate, regardless of whether you were hungry. Maybe you eat due to emotion, social cues or time of day. With any of these examples, the eater is paying attention to cues outside of their body, rather than within.

Ignoring hunger and fullness signals can eventually lead to an unhealthy relationship with food and the following may occur: 

  • Eating when you are past the point of fullness
  • Eating when you are not physically hungry 
  • Denying your body food when you are hungry

When hunger and fullness signals are ignored over time, you may lose the ability to feel hunger and fullness at all. The good news is that you can re-teach your body to eat in a mindful and natural way again! 

One key aspect of mindful eating is listening to your hunger and fullness signals.

While this may sound simple, many of us often eat when we are not physically hungry and/or eat until we are uncomfortably full. You are not alone if you struggle to recognize these cues. 

The first step to getting your hunger and fullness cues back is learning to listen to your body. Knowing your hunger level and your pre-meal mood helps you to become a more mindful eater.

Before each meal and snack, take a moment to rate your hunger using the scale below.

Your goal is to stay between the score values of 3 & 7 on the hunger scale.

The hunger Scale

Article Source: https://www.longevitymagazine.org/