Now that Halloween has passed, what do we do when tempted by those extra leftover candies? Do we indulge in a little “guilty” snacking? Do we bring them in to our workplace to share with our colleagues? A recent article coming in to the SIRC Collection examines research compiled on the topic of mindful eating. This growing trend begins with the concept of paying attention both to inner cues (thoughts, emotions and sensations) and to the environment when contemplating triggers to eating.
Research suggests that mindless eating is a major factor in weight gain and plays a large role in the failure of weight loss attempts. It also notes that most of our eating decisions are automatic and made without awareness. Without this awareness most of our eating decisions are made without taking stock of the state of our bodies, our minds or our environment and the information to make conscious decisions. According to researchers the majority of our food decisions are not based upon hunger, but rather are influenced by stress, anxiety or frustration.
The philosophy behind mindful eating stresses the importance of carefully thinking through your food choices. It is not about what to eat and what not to eat, but rather being aware of the food you are about to eat, the reasons you want to eat, how you are eating and the choice you make in eating different foods. Learning to work with your body’s rhythms and your mind’s thought process leads you to make conscious choices.
A few electronic resources are provided to learn more about mindful eating:
· The Center for Mindful Eating
· The Cornell University food and Brand Laboratory
· The Association for Size Diversity and Health
· Mindful Eating: The CAMP System
· Dietitians of Canada
· American Dietetic Association