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A Guide to Mindful Eating

In the hustle and bustle of modern life, it's all too easy for meals to become mere checkpoints in our packed schedules—a quick bite grabbed on the go or a hurried affair while multitasking with work or entertainment. In this whirlwind of activity, the act of eating often loses its significance, reduced to a mechanical process of refuelling rather than an experience to be savoured and enjoyed. Amidst endless to-do lists and constant distractions, we find ourselves mindlessly consuming food, scarcely aware of its taste, texture, or nutritional value. 

 However, there exists a transformative practice that beckons us to reclaim this lost connection—to approach eating not as a mindless routine, but as a mindful experience. What if we approached eating differently? What if we savoured each bite, fully engaged in the experience? This practice is known as mindful eating. Mindful eating offers not just physical nourishment but also mental and emotional fulfilment. 

In this blog, we will delve into the principles of mindful eating, exploring its definition, significance, and practical applications. We will uncover the reasons why incorporating mindfulness into our eating habits is essential in today's hectic world. Furthermore, we will provide actionable strategies to help you embrace mindful eating in your daily life, along with the myriad benefits it can bring.

What Is Mindful Eating?

Mindful eating, or intuitive eating, is an approach to food which focuses on an individual’s sensual awareness of the food and their experience of the food. It involves being present in the moment, fully engaging with the colours, textures, flavours and smells of our food. Mindful eating also involves tuning into our body's hunger and fullness cues, eating when we're truly hungry and stopping when we're satisfied, rather than when our plate is empty or when we're simply eating out of habit.

Mindful eating comes from the term “mindfulness”, and was defined by Jon Kabat-Zinn as “paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally”¹. The Raisin Experience² is a great example of what mindful eating can be, with its intention to focus on various aspects of the moment-by-moment experience.

Incorporating mindful eating habits into our daily routine isn’t just about eating slower or choosing healthy foods. By learning how to eat more mindfully, you are not just able to enjoy your meals more but you are able to become more attuned to what your body needs, not wants. This leads to an improved well-being and satisfaction. 

Why Be More Mindful When Eating?

In a world where food is abundant and distractions are endless, it can be easy to fall into patterns of overeating, mindless snacking and emotional eating. Although we may think about food, eating food itself has become a mindless act which is often done quickly. It takes around 20 minutes for your brain to register it is full, and if you eat too fast, the fullness signal may not arrive until you have already eaten too much. This can lead to feelings of regret, being in a ‘food coma’ and even lead to eating disorders.

By practising mindful eating, we can break free from these unhealthy habits and cultivate a more balanced and harmonious relationship with food. Being more mindful when eating can help us:

Improve digestion: By chewing your food thoroughly and eating at a relaxed pace, we can aid digestion and reduce symptoms like bloating and indigestion.

Prevent overeating: By listening to our body's hunger and fullness signals, we can avoid overeating and maintain a healthy weight.

Manage emotions: Instead of using food as a source of comfort or distraction, we can learn to cope with emotions in healthier ways, leading to a more balanced approach to eating.

Ways to Eat More Mindfully

Here are some ways you can eat more mindfully:

Listen to Your Gut

Slowing down your eating by chewing food well, and taking the time to pause between mouthfuls by putting cutlery down, can help allow your body to recognise when it is full. Not only can this help you feel more relaxed, but it can help you enjoy your eating experience. When your stomach has had enough food, a hormone called leptin is released from fat tissues which signals to the brain that your stomach is full. However, this process can take around 20 minutes for this process to occur, and it is why it is important to eat more slowly.


Food for Thought

When it comes to mindful eating, one of the biggest realisations is how much we are influenced by what we think and feel around food. Once we are able to take control of our thoughts and emotions around food, we are able to enjoy it for what it is and get to a place where food isn’t a source of stress for us. This means that we don’t need to analyse the macro or calorie content so much and just enjoy food for what it is. Food is fuel to live! 

Learn Your Hunger Triggers

When it comes to mindful eating, it is a good idea to learn your hunger triggers. You may experience the temporary discomfort of needing to eat something, including symptoms such as a rumbling stomach, mild light-headedness and sometimes moodiness, coupled with the desire to consume food. Lifestyle factors such as exercise and stress can affect hunger and appetite. If you exercise frequently, you will likely become hungrier due to the fact the body needs more calories and nutrients to function sufficiently. 

Critical Oats are perfect for when you are needing to refuel after a workout or if you are looking for a healthy breakfast option. When you feel hungry, ask yourself if it is because you need to consume food or is it because you are bored, need a distraction or think it is what you should be doing? 

Consider Where Your Food Comes From

Considering where your food comes from is another aspect of mindful eating. Think about if the meal has been made by a relative or friend, if you’re using a recipe passed down to you, the elements from the Earth that have been contributed towards the meal, where in the world the elements of your meal come from etc. Being mindful about the origins of our food can help us all make wiser, more sustainable choices. 

Our Vegan-Pro is an ideal sustainable source of nourishment, made from soya, pea protein and brown rice which are all readily available. If you’re searching for a high-protein source which can give your daily nutrients a boost, Critical Whey is the perfect choice. 

Minimise Distractions

Eating whilst scrolling on your phone or watching TV can distract you from the food you are eating and can lead to mindless eating and overeating. When trying out mindful eating, aim to be present at all times and focus on eating without any distractions around you, as this can help you enjoy your food more and enables you to know when you are full. The less distractions you have around you, the more mindful your eating becomes! 

Benefits of Mindful Eating

By paying close attention to how you feel as you eat—the texture and tastes of each mouthful, your body’s hunger and fullness signals, how different foods affect your energy and mood—you can learn to savour both your food and the experience of eating. 

Being mindful of the food you eat can promote better digestion, keep you full with less food, and influence wiser choices about what you eat in the future. It can also help you free yourself from unhealthy habits around food and eating. Studies have shown³ that mindful eating may also help with weight loss. If one of your fitness goals is to lose weight, you can check out our collection HERE

The benefits of mindful eating extend far beyond the dinner table. Adopting a more mindful approach to food allows you to experience:

  • Improved digestion and nutrient absorption 
  • Better control of cravings 
  • Reduced stress and anxiety around eating food
  • Greater appreciation for food and its role in nourishing the body
  • Enhanced overall wellbeing

In today's fast-paced world, mindful eating serves as a powerful reminder to slow down, appreciate the present moment, and nourish ourselves holistically. By embracing mindfulness at the table, we not only foster healthier eating habits but also deepen our connection to ourselves and our surroundings. Beyond the physical nourishment it provides, mindful eating offers us an opportunity for self-discovery and transformation. It teaches us to listen to our bodies, honour our hunger and fullness cues, and make choices that align with our well-being. It encourages us to be more present in our daily lives, finding joy and satisfaction in the simple act of eating.

Beyond its nutritional benefits, practising mindfulness while eating can lead to greater satisfaction, improved digestion, and enhanced overall health.So, as you sit down to your next meal, incorporate mindfulness into your eating routine. Take a moment to savour each bite, listen to your body's cues, and appreciate the nourishment that food provides. By prioritising mindful eating, you not only support your health but also cultivate a sense of presence and gratitude in your daily life.

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By Shannon Gaskell


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5556586/#B1 
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5556586/
  3. https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/mindful-eating-may-help-with-weight-loss



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