“You cannot be eating mindfully and emotionally at the same time,” says Albers. Mindful eating means creating an awareness of your eating habits and taking in all the sensations you experience when you eat. As you eat, savor each bite and pay attention to how you’re feeling.
“It is important to learn how to connect the feelings we get when we eat back to our physiological reactions — back to the reasons we should be eating in the first place,” says Albers. “It is about breaking our autopilot eating behaviors. We often don’t realize how much we are eating. We lose track and often overeat because we are eating mindlessly.”
Dr. Edward Abramson, professor of psychology at California State University, teaches mindful eating in his emotional eating workshops. “We have to start paying attention to our automatic eating behaviors. If a Doritos commercial comes on TV, we suddenly reach for a salty snack. When we are more deliberate about how we eat, we increase our awareness and decrease our consumption,” says Abramson. “I tell people, when you are standing in front of the fridge with the urge to eat, stop for a minute and ask yourself what do you really need right now. You may just be bored or anxious.”
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