Imagine your relationship with food. Do you eat when sad, tired or bored? do you continue eating when your body tells you that it is full? This is what we call mindless eating. The opposite is what we call mindful eating. Mindful eating is all about awareness: you slow down, pay attention to the food you’re eating and treasure every bite. You are aware of what you eat, how you eat and why you eat. Research performed by Jordan et al., 2014 had participants fill in an online questionnaire (the Mindful Awareness Attention scale), asking questions about their eating habits and relationship with food. This was meant to show the relationship between mindfulness and (controlled) eating behavior. Second, another set of participants were asked to perform a mindfulness task that had them focus on their breathing and bodily sensations, making their state of mind more mindful right before eating. This was meant to show the relationship between mindfulness and consumption behavior. Thirdly, they had participants chose between fruit (apple or orange) and sweet (KitKat or Cookies) It turned out that the mindful participants engaged in less uncontrolled eating, ate 24% fewer calories than those of the control group were and more likely to choose fruit than sweets, compared to less mindful people. mindful eating can therefore encourage healthier eating habits by affecting the attitude towards different food and less calorie intake.
Jordan, C. H., Wang, W., Donatoni, L., & Meier, B. P. (2014). Mindful eating: Trait and state mindfulness predict healthier eating behavior. Personality and Individual Differences, 68, 107–111. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2014.04.013