As the world becomes more curious about gentle approaches to health and nutrition, two terms—mindful eating and intuitive eating—keep popping up. And no, these aren’t cover terms for another fad diet; both have been well-studied, developed by wellness experts, and focus on improving your overall relationship with food, body, mind, and nutrition.
Below, we’re discussing what exactly mindful eating and intuitive eating are, as well as the benefits and differences between them.
What is Mindful Eating?
According to The Center for Mindful Eating, the practice of mindfulness is being aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations in the present moment without judgment. This practice allows you to free yourself from reactive, habitual patterns and focus more on balance, choice, wisdom, and acceptance.
Mindful eating is an extension of this wisdom. Mindful eating has multiple facets; for example, it encourages you to focus on the present moment and use your senses to choose foods that are both nourishing and satisfying. It also enables you to acknowledge your responses to food without judgment, becoming aware of your likes and dislikes, and remembering that there is no wrong or right way to enjoy food.
The Benefits of Mindful Eating:
- Increased enjoyment and satisfaction from food
- Better awareness of which foods you like and dislike
- Increased appreciation for your food and its journey to you
- Fewer feelings of food-related guilt or shame
- Puts focus on the present moment
- More feelings of connection with your food, the earth, and other living beings