Wai’s Blog Page

Mindful Eating Part I

We eat everyday because eating is a life supporting activity equally as essential as breathing, sleeping…etc.  But unlike breathing and sleeping, eating presents us with choices.  We have choices and options about what we eat, when we eat and how we eat.  The food we choose has a direct impact on our physical and mental health.

Our eating habits are learned in childhood and are influenced by culture, knowledge, and availability of food.  Most people know what they like to eat and do so in their habitual ways. We are not always aware that the foods we choose and the way we eat can significantly impact mood, weight, medical conditions, and energy level.

We sometimes make poor choices because we eat on impulse or crave certain types of foods which may indicate addictions to sugar, fat and/or salt.  Like any addictions, a persons primary control lies in the action of putting the food in ones mouth.  Once it is in our system we have no control over how that food will impact our body and mind.  Therefore, practicing mindful eating will be helpful for developing control.  This may help you to be free from impulses or poor choices.

Anyone can choose to practice mindful eating. For example, when you feel hungry, you may imagine or think of certain kinds of food you desire.  Take a few minutes to evaluate or become mindful of the choices before you decide to eat.  Cravings are like moods, they come and go, but underlying these desires is the basic need to nourish your body.  An example would be; If you feel like a certain kind of food, notice the thoughts of that craving.  What is it saying to you?  What do you think you will get from that choice.  How will you feel after eating it?  What do you really need?  Next, see if you can imagine substituting that choice with a healthier option that could fulfill your needs.  It is still fine if you decide to eat what you originally wanted.  The important key of this practice is to develop the habit of pausing and making your decisions each step of the way.  As with all practices, this can be difficult in the beginning, but it will get easier as you continue to be mindful.

Contact Information

Wai Wong-Miller MA, LMHC

Seattle, Washington.
Phone: 206-790-4888 Fax: 206-582-0866