To explain ‘mindful eating’, first we have to start with understanding ‘mindfulness’. Mindfulness is deliberately shifting your attention to the present moment in a non-judgmental manner. Mindfulness is tuning into your thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations you are having in this very moment. It is not about judging or reacting to any of these sensations, but about noticing them with curiosity.
Mindfulness is a well-researched practice. Just like training for sport, mindfulness is a practice that you can embed within your day. For example, take a moment to stop right now, take a deep breath in…and out. Now, try to hear and listen to your heartbeat. Your heart is beating all of the time, but it often goes unnoticed (except when those pre-competition nerves hit!)
Mindful eating is the specific application of mindfulness practice to eating. Mindful eating is bringing present moment awareness to the food and eating experience. Mindful eating works together with nutrition information. Both internal cues (such as the information received from inside your body e.g. hunger) and external cues (your nutrition and food knowledge e.g. what your accredited sports dietitian has taught you) can be used thoughtfully to navigate the type, amount and timing of nutrition that works best for you at the present time.
For more information download our ‘Mindful eating’ factsheet.