Dieting is a means to an end. And in the beginning, it can work if you want to lose weight. But dieting has a dark side. Something many people don’t think about when they start dieting is that it can make you lose touch with your body’s hunger signals — when you’re truly hungry, when you’ve had enough, your real reasons for eating. And this disconnect can last years or a lifetime.
What is mindful eating?
Learning to eat more mindfully can help put you in touch with these signals. Using mindfulness principals, the practice of mindful eating asks that you look at the act of eating in a new way. Maybe in a way you never have before. Eating mindfully is as simple as just paying attention when you’re eating. What are the tastes and textures of the foods? How did you feel during and after eating? What emotions were you feeling when you wanted to eat?
While it sounds so simple, this practice can be very powerful. More effective than a diet, mindful eating can help you get back in touch with your hunger cues. With practice, you can start to identify which emotions you felt when you were hungry, and perhaps realize you weren’t truly hungry at all. This practice can open up a whole world to you. One you begin to identify your emotions and get better at realizing when they are causing false hunger signals, you are getting to the root of your issues, not just with eating, but with yourself. And that’s way more effective than any diet plan can ever be.
Ready to start your own mindful eating practice? The Hartford Mindfulness Center is offering an eight-week mindful eating class called Making Peace with Food, with Certified Professional Coach Beth Reel. Using the curriculum based on the Mindful Eating-Conscious Living™ Program by Jan Chozen Bays, MD and Char Wilkins, MSW, Beth will help participants learn:
- What mindfulness is and how to apply it to eating
- To identify the nine aspects of hunger that drive eating
- Habits and patterns formed around food
- How to bring mindfulness to the act of eating
- How to satisfy appetites that might not include eating
- How to use mindful awareness exercises to gain clarity into the connection between the mind, body, and heart.
Want more info? Join Beth for a free information session Sunday, February 12, from 10 – 11 a.m. or Monday, February 13, from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Class will run Sundays from Feb. 26 – April 30, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.