To eat mindfully simply means to be aware.
Being aware of your intention to care for yourself and your attention to the relationship between the food you eat and the effect it has on your body.
This means paying attention to cues - that you might be full, that you may be eating emotionally, that you are eating for optimal energy and satiety.
David A. Bender explains in his book, Nutrition: A Very Short Introduction, human beings have a need to meet their body's nutritional standards. The brain system that controls the appetite are effected by physiological, social, environmental, and genetic factors. He states that there are hunger centres in the brain that stimulate us to begin eating, and other centres in the brain to signal to us to stop eating when the hunger has been satisfied.
Damage to these centres cause, over-eating or loss of appetite.
Your appetite is strongly effected by your taste buds as well. Your appetite refers to your need to eat and the pleasures of eating and tasting salty, bitter, sour, sweet and spicy.
A simple and effective step towards Mindful Eating is to ask yourself "Am I Hungry?" before eating. Tuning into this awareness will eventually help bridge the gap between any food triggers you may have (emotional, or otherwise) and your response to them.
Take your awareness to the next level. Ask, HOW do I eat? HOW MUCH do I eat? WHERE do I invest my energy? WHY do I eat? WHEN do I want to eat? WHAT do I eat?
Have more questions and looking for support?
The Center for Mindful Eating and join the community. http://www.thecenterformindfuleating.org/
Written by Nicole Whitely and Amy Trachter