National Nutrition Month - Mindful Eating

GracieContent submitted by: Gracie Vinson, Intern with the Dietary Department at Princeton Baptist Medical Center

National Nutrition Month is highlighting four healthy eating behaviors to focus on. For the first week in March, mindful eating was the focal point. This way of eating is unique from dieting because the primary concept is listening to what your body needs. Below are the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch that can help when navigating how to eat mindfully.

  1. Reject the Diet Mentality: Diet culture makes promises that they can’t keep. Not participating in fad diets allows one to fully experience mindful eating.
  2. Honor Your Hunger: Allowing yourself to get too hungry can cause overeating. Prevent this by eating when you feel hunger cues in your body.
  3. Make Peace with Food: Forget about your “forbidden” foods. Telling yourself that you cannot eat a certain food only makes it harder to avoid it.
  4. Challenge the Food Police: Diet culture has created rules that some foods are “good” or “bad.” Allow your body permission to eat all foods.
  5. Discover the Satisfaction Factor: Eating is meant to bring pleasure. This occurs when you can eat in an inviting environment and eat the right amount of food for your body.
  6. Feel Your Fullness: Pay attention to your food when eating. This allows you to slow down and pay attention to how full you are.
  7. Cope with Your Emotions with Kindness: Food may comfort feelings of anxiety, boredom, or sadness temporarily, so it is best to find strategies that deal with the emotion directly.
  8. Respect Your Body: Everyone is gifted a different size. This acceptance is vital when learning to respect your body.
  9. Movement-Feel the Difference: When exercising, focus on the way you feel rather than how many calories have burned. This makes exercise more fun and less like an obligation.
  10. Honor Your Health- Gentle Nutrition: Choose foods that you enjoy but also make you feel good. You cannot become unhealthy from one meal or snack, it’s what you eat over long periods of time that contribute to your health.

Intuitive Eating is a great way to start eating more mindfully. Paying attention to your hunger cues will allow you greater satisfaction when eating. For more details about Intuitive Eating, read Intuitive Eating, 4th Edition: A Revolutionary Anti-Diet Approach by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch


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