Home Gesundheit Achtsames Essen zielt darauf ab, Ihre Beziehung zum Essen zu verändern

Achtsames Essen zielt darauf ab, Ihre Beziehung zum Essen zu verändern

von NFI Redaktion

March 1, 2024 – You may be familiar with the basic steps: slow down, pay attention to what you eat, and savor your food. But mindful eating can be more nuanced, and when done consciously over time, it can change your relationship with food and benefit your health, say experts. Even if you spend your day in a rush – eating breakfast on your morning commute to work, lunch at your desk, and dinner in front of the TV at home – you can make it work. „Start small. Begin with just one bite,“ said nutritionist Linn Thorstensson, Dip NT mNTOI, Director of the Center for Mindful Eating, a nonprofit organization.

There are many simple ways to start with mindful eating. Rahaf Al Bochi, RDN, LD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, recommended chewing your food well and savoring each bite. Start with one meal a day where you might have more time for mindful eating, and then pay attention to how you feel when you’re finished. The practice of mindful eating „means listening to your body’s signals about food and respecting them,“ noted Bochi, owner of Olive Tree Nutrition LLC. „It means eating when you’re hungry, and stopping when you’re full. It means engaging your senses while eating, such as taste, smell, and the emotions you experience.“

Eating slowly can also make it easier to listen to your body’s satiety signal that you’ve had enough. Like most things, the technique requires time and practice. „Mindful eating requires practice,“ said Anita Reina, PhD, postdoctoral researcher at the University of Georgia College of Public Health in Athens, Georgia. „You don’t just wake up one day and run a marathon. You have to start running and build endurance over time.“

Making mindful eating a habit can help you stay committed in the long run. Another helpful strategy is to use mindful eating to be more mindful overall, said Alice J. Rosen, MSEd, LMHC, faculty member of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy and former board member of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy Center for Mindful Eating. Mindful eating may also help with adhering to a nutrition program. The technique was tested for the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) program, Reina and colleagues found in a study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. People responded positively to mindful eating in a health program called „Mind Your Heart.“

„People may have a complicated relationship with food. One person may feel guilty after snacking or have negative feelings if they ‘fail’ on a diet,“ Rosen said. While many diets focus on restricting or eliminating certain foods, mindful eating is about building a positive relationship. Mindfulness is about being in harmony with food, while „dieting is a constant struggle, a conflict with food,“ Rosen said. The practice also involves calming the mind so you can pay attention to what you eat. It’s about staying calm, being consciously present in the moment, and not judging the experience or focusing on an inner critic dialogue.

Mindful eating, also known as intuitive eating, is recommended for anyone who wants to have a healthy relationship with food and find joy in eating, Reina said. „Mindfulness is an abstract concept for many people, and although they see it as a good idea, they find it challenging to imagine in their busy lives.“ An easy-to-understand guide or graphic for mindful eating could help. Reina suggested something like the MyPlate graphic from the US government, which replaced the „food pyramid“ to help people integrate mindful eating seamlessly into their lives.

Simply noticing that you pick up an utensil, take a bite, and set the fork down can be part of mindful eating. Grace before meals is also an opportunity to pause before eating and feel a sense of gratitude. Considering the farmer who grew the food, the truck driver who delivered it, and the supermarket workers who stocked it is another way to heighten food awareness.

The specific food isn’t as important as noticing it. You don’t necessarily have to attend a „farm-to-table“ event. Due to food inequality and food insecurity in the United States, not everyone has equal access to healthy foods. Rosen said that even if you only had food from McDonald’s, you could think, „Thank you for having this.“ Rosen leads a group of people online through the practice in her Conscious Cafe, an offering of the Center for Mindful Eating. The goal is to support people in mindful eating, so they are more successful when alone with their families or in a social situation.

There are misunderstandings and myths about mindful eating. „The main reason is that it’s a tool to help you lose weight,“ said Thorstensson, a nutrition therapist based in Ireland. It’s not about „controlling food intake to control body size or weight.“ Rosen agreed, saying if someone uses mindful eating as a platform based on their dislike of their body or lack of body acceptance, it can only go wrong.

Rosen would like to conduct a similar experiment to the one where a man named Morgan Spurlock ate only McDonald’s food for a month in the movie Super Size Me. If you haven’t seen the 2004 documentary: Spurlock gains weight, feels unhealthier, and his doctors are surprised by how much his health has deteriorated. „But what if you ate mindfully for 30 days?“ Rosen asked. „I bet everything I know that all blood levels and everything would have been different.“

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