College students know best that mindful eating is not always easy to do. With virtually unlimited swipes at dining halls, the ability to get fresh baked cookies delivered straight to your dorm at 2 a.m. and the best personal pizza joint just a short walk away, eating mindlessly is seemingly inevitable. Fifth semester dietetics majors in the allied health sciences coordinated dietetics program Olivia Knight and Hannah Yoo combated this idea and proposed solutions to it in their presentation on mindful eating for well-being in the Women’s Center on Thursday afternoon.
Mindless eating is the act of consuming food without considering the portion size, focusing on the meal or noticing when your body is full, and usually is a result of boredom, multitasking while eating and/or the convenience and presentation of the food.
Mindful eating, on the other hand, is utilizing all of your senses throughout your snack or meal—have you looked at your granola bar before shoving it down your throat on your way to class? Eating intuitively also requires that you acknowledge the difference between physical hunger and psychological hunger; the desire to eat either out of habit because you are surrounded by food, or because of an emotional drive or because it is fun, respectively.
Knight and Yoo reference award-winning registered dietician and author Evelyn Tribole to discuss her acclaimed ten principles of intuitive eating, which are as follows:
Reject the diet mentality
Honor your hunger
Make peace with food
Challenge the food police
Respect your fullness
Discover the satisfaction factor
Honor your feelings without using food
Respect your body
Exercise: Feel the difference
Honor your health with gentle nutrition
Knight and Yoo suggest that those who are interested in beginning their mindful eating journey should start by incorporating at least one or two of the aforementioned principles into their daily lives.
As well as this, intuitive eaters should stick to the B.A.S.I.C.S.— breathe and belly check, assess your food, slow down, investigate your hunger throughout the meal, chew thoroughly and savor the meal. During the presentation, audience members were each given one Hershey’s Kiss and told to eat it while adhering to the rules of B.A.S.I.C.S. in order to experience mindful eating. This practice is important for cultivating a healthy relationship with food; it allows mindful eaters to move away from dieting and food restrictions, it allows them to feel more confident about their body image and it improves their emotional health.
Students looking to rid their mindless eating habits can visit the Center for Mindful Eating at Student Health Services to receive free nutrition counseling from a registered dietician.
Rachel Lamore is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.