Mindful-Eating Exercises to Reduce Stress-Induced Eating

Every day I meet and work with women who use eating as a stress management tool and sooth themselves with food and sweets when under stress. 

Food has the power to temporarily alleviate stress and sadness, enhance joy, and bring us comfort when we need it most. It's no wonder experts estimate that 75 percent of overeating is triggered by our emotions, not physical hunger. 

Diets dont work and physical activities are not enough when it comes to stress eating, especially for us women over 40.  What works?

The good news is you can overcome stress eating through mindfulness activities that are healthy for both body and mind.

Being mindful is an active state of releasing all judgment and worried thoughts, freeing oneself from stress to fully perceive the moment.

As an integral part of mindful living mindful-eating exercises are great every day mindfulness practices to reduce stress-induced eating. ( in nutshell mindful eating reduces emotional eating and helps to lose weight and manage stress at the same time):

Rate Your Hunger

Create a hunger scale ranging from 0 to 10 (0 being the most hungry and 10 being the least hungry).

Ask yourself the following questions:

What does a 0 feel like physically when you’re extremely hungry? (Common answers are headaches, irritation, shakiness, and fatigue.)
What does a 10 feel like, when you’re as full as you can imagine? (Common answers are nauseous, bloated, fatigued, swollen, accompanied by feelings of shame or guilt.)
Where are you right now on a scale of 0 to 10? What do you notice about your body that made you choose that number?

Try to keep a journal of your hunger rating before, during, and after each meal for three days. You will note the physical cues that led to the choice of that rating.

You might like experiment with eating to achieve a different level of fullness. Notice how you felt one hour after achieving a hunger level of 6 vs. 8.

Eat a Food Mindfully

Take a raisin, grape, strawberry, piece of cheese, or chocolate. 

Observe the appearance and texture. Is there an aroma? What kind of changes do you notice in your body as you observe this food? (Answers may include salivation, impatience, anticipation, and nothing.)

Place a small amount of the food in your mouth, and do not chew it. After 30 seconds (wait 1 minute for chocolate), start chewing. 

After you  have finished eating, answer the following questions:

What did you notice about the flavor or texture before you started chewing the food? After you started chewing?
How does that compare with your typical experience?

Want to make an even more dramatic change? 

Overcome stress cravings, lose weight and be slim over 40, with no-diet mindful eating approach. Start  8-week Virtual Mindful Eating Program today!

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