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Why do I need to eat mindfully? (Updated)

Update: I've published Part II of the Mindful Eating videos. Click here to access my video channel on my Home page.

If mindful eating sounds like one more thing you don't want on your to-do list, rest assured that it will, instead, give you more free time. Why eat mindfully? Mindful eating leads to decreased food struggles, reduced cravings, and overall, a remarkably satisfying relationship with food.

Once you establish peace with your food, you begin to savor your food, enjoy a renewed taste with different foods, and stop constantly thinking about food for most of the day. Note that mindful eating, when done correctly, is not meant to be used for weight loss.

Counting calories is not self-care

I'm a weight-neutral dietitian, which means I am not focused on your weight. I practice what's called, Intuitive Eating, a practice you can read more about by its originators, dietitians Evelyn Tribole, Ms, RDN, and Elyse Resch, MS, RDN. One of the important components of intuitive eating is mindful eating.

Intuitive eating has been shown to lead to better health, as its benefits surpass the simple act of eating. These benefits include lower cholesterol, a stable weight, and a heightened ability by the body to absorb more nutrients.

Mindful eating can be mastered by anyone, at their own pace, and in their own time. Once mastered, the technique becomes automatic, so it doesn't mean you'll spend an inordinate amount of time mindfully eating (although that wouldn't be a waste of time, by any means). Start slowly, for example, with one food or one meal a day.

According to the UCLA Mindfulness Awareness Research Center (MARC), mindfulness has numerous benefits, including the following:

  • promoting a healing response to improve immunity and fight disease

  • Reduce inflammation associated with chronic diseases and aging, such as arthritis, diabetes, and high blood pressure

  • Improve psoriasis

But seeing is believing, so head over to my video channel on my home page to see the series of several videos about mindful eating.

Want to know more? The Center for Mindful Eating (TCME) is a wealth of information on mindful eating, including webinars and community events. The UCLA Mindfulness Awareness Research Center (MARC) offers free guided meditations and online classes.

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