Mindful Eating can Help Your Relationship with Food
Updated: Apr 29
When you think of relationships, you may think of how you interact with friends, family, partners, or peers. Though cultivating these interpersonal relationships is essential, there is another important relationship that deserves your attention: your relationship with food. Like interpersonal relationships, food relationships can be an emotionally charged topic for many, yet it is important to reflect on this in order to build a healthy relationship with food.
Like interpersonal relationships, your interactions with food differ from those around you. You may love olives, while others hate them. The smell of pickles may be delicious to you, but not to your friends. You may be able to sustain a healthy relationship with food while a friend may struggle. An unhealthy relationship with food can vary from person to person. One way your relationship with food can be unhealthy is if you use food to modify your bodies. Food is calories. Calories can determine weight loss or gain. However, creating a relationship with food based around body modification can make eating less enjoyable or make food feel like a burden.
One way to create a healthier relationship with food is to practice mindful eating. Mindful eating involves cultivating a consciousness of not only the foods we eat, but the sensory experience of eating. It is about paying attention to how your food looks, tastes, smells, and feels. Practicing an awareness of setting up your meals, eating slowly, and thinking about the nourishment you are receiving, are some ways for you to be more present while eating. Eating mindfully can promote positive body image by helping you to better connect with food. Adopting mindful eating may take time, but here are some tips you help you get there:
Honor your hunger: eat when your body tells you that you are hungry
Make the environment you eat in enjoyable and friendly
Try not to eat in front of the TV or a screen, so there are less distractions
Be grateful for your food
Chew until you can taste the essence of the food
Eat less on-the-go and make time for reflective meals