Mindful eating is not new and it has proven, with its longevity, that it is in no way a fad diet. Many people have adopted the lifestyle for many years due to its suggested health benefits and association with the mindful thinking of Zen Buddhism. The current times have given many of us the chance to reflect on our habits and make changes for the better. Benefits such as, reduced stress, helping with depression and increased enjoyment of the present moment are at the core of this concept. Read on for Mindful Eating: 3 Myths about Practising a ‘Mindful’ Lifestyle – BUSTED!
1. It’s a Diet & You’ll Lose Weight
This is a common misconception with mindful eating. The concept is not about restrictions or to cut out foods, it’s about the art of being present while you eat. If you treat it like a diet then, chances are it will become like any other fad diet out there, and simply unsustainable.
Consciously choosing healthier options is one thing but using mindful eating as a diet tool is not the aim of the game. If you practise mindful eating correctly, by being aware and present while you eat and seeing the effect of food on your body, then you may very well lose weight. This is because of the choices you make, but this is only an added bonus.
2. It’s Automatically Healthy & Stops Emotional Overeating
If it’s good for you, it must be healthy right? Well not necessarily. While practising a mindful lifestyle is definitely beneficial, it doesn’t mean you’re suddenly going to crave healthier choices. In fact you’re listening to your body and what it wants, rather than grabbing the nearest or quickest thing.
This may mean instead of freezer food, you are craving a home-cooked meal, it can also easily tell you your body is craving something creamy and salty. This also affects how we eat when we are emotional. If when feeling down food is your comfort, then when asking what will satisfy you, the answer will be food and lots of it. There is a fine balance when mindful eating, between listening to your body to satisfy those cravings and actively making healthy choices for the sake of your health. Keep attuned to both.
3. You Can’t Eat Mindfully when You’re with Others
There are many situations in which social occasions are paired with eating. If practising mindful eating, this could feel complicated and cause people to either abandon the concept when together with others or the more extreme scenario, of opting out of social situations entirely.
This is not necessary. Mindfulness is meant to enhance life and both of these aspects are important. It is very possible to practise mindfulness when in social situations. Tactics such as, taking a moment to peruse the menu, read the items, ask your body what you are craving and needing, you can even discuss the dishes with company if it helps.
When the food arrives ask everyone how they find the food. This will center your focus on your food and give the other people a chance to think of their own. Finally take a moment to check in with yourself later during the meal, have you had enough? Are you feeling full? Don’t slip into the trap of finishing everything off mindlessly!