Mindful eating is a way of reconnecting to our own bodies wisdom about the food we eat at the time we are eating it. Then we don’t need to measure and calculate or have all the ‘shoulds’ and head rules about food. We can trust our own reactions and sensations to guide choices, rather than having to listen to a lot of head chatter and what we ‘should’ or ‘should not’ be eating.
Children eat only to their physical need – if hungry they will eat, if not they wont. If they want an orange this is what they will eat, if the cheese is more appealing at the time then that is what they will choose. We are socialized away from this instinct, living in an environment surrounded by endless food and new food ideas, and then given lots of confusing information about nutrition. Over time we disconnect from the body and learn to eat to the clock, by habit or for reasons like boredom or comfort.
Eating is meant to be a lot like the heart beating and lungs breathing, not always controlled or even totally conscious all the time. Respecting the body’s own knowledge about eating then responding to it at the time, along with a bit of ‘big picture’ sensible nutrition and some skills that help with managing our current environment; is a much happier way to live.
It can be hard work after many years though to reconnect to normal appetite cues and mindful eating is a process to be learnt from along the way, not just an endpoint. Help with this journey from someone experienced in eating behavior work can make it much easier.