Conscious Eating

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via healthy-eating « Tag Feed by Meghan Telpner on 10/4/08


When was the last time you sat down to enjoy a meal… by yourself… at a table… in silence. This means no TV, no radio, no newspaper and no company.  We’ve all had that experience where we get in our cars to go somewhere and then suddenly find ourselves at our destination without any recollection of the path we took to get there. It’s kind of the same thing when we sit down in front of the television with a bag of chips and suddenly the bag is empty. Our mind is somewhere else and we are no longer paying attention to where we are or to what we are doing.

When I have clients come to me for weight-loss, or claim that they have no idea what they are doing wrong in their struggle towards achieving their health goals, one of the first things I ask them to do is to keep a food journal. We are so busy in our minds, that we aren’t paying attention to what we are feeding our bodies, and what we are using to fuel our bodies.

This food journal is sort of a forced awareness for our eating- something often referred to as conscious eating. Traditionally used as a form of yogic practice, given that most of us eat our breakfast in the car, lunch at our desk and dinner in front of the TV, a little conscious eating could do us a world of good. All it means is simply paying attention to eating, paying attention to preparing, to serving, to chewing, to tasting, to enjoying our food for the simple pleasures of the food itself.

Unhealthy eating patterns are often caused by tension and stress.  When we experience stress or negative emotions, we lose energy. Unconsciously, we want to eat to replace that lost energy. Simply noticing how we feel before we reach for that chocolate cake, or third beer is the first step. Start with one conscious meal a week and then step it up to two. The more awareness we bring to what, where, when and why we are eating, the sooner great health will unfold before us.

Basic Rules for Conscious Eating

  • Listen to your body.
  • Follow the wisdom inherent in your own body to guide you to healthy food choices.
  • Use discrimination when eating anything - even organic, whole, natural foods.
  • Eat when you feel a natural hunger in your body.
  • Be aware of your unconscious motivations when eating.
  • Eat to satisfy the physical need of the body, not an emotional need.
  • Relax as much as possible before eating.
  • Let go of tension you become aware of during the day, before it saps your energy and leaves you craving something to replace that energy.


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