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Journal entry

Mindful Eating

Julia Burt RD

As a Registered Dietitian, many people often think my job revolves around teaching people what they should and shouldn’t eat to stay healthy. While nutrition education is certainly part of my role, most people I see often have a pretty good idea of how they SHOULD eat, but have difficulty putting this knowledge into action. This is why I spend a large part of my time counselling people on how to implement positive behavior change in their daily life.

Something I often address with my clients is the concept of mindful eating.  Research shows that we spend over 2 hours a day eating, however I’m willing to bet that many of us spend most of this time doing also something else – working, driving, watching TV or on our phones. 

While we may be programmed to think that this “multi-tasking” is a good thing, not being fully aware of what we are eating may actually be a contributing factor to chronic health issues, including obesity.

How can mindful eating help with this? Based on the psychological concept of “mindfulness”, a type of meditation that helps people recognize and cope with emotions and physical sensations, mindful eating helps us focus on and appreciate the food we are eating.

Evidence shows that mindfulness and mindful eating can also help with mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression, as well as disordered eating.

So how can you learn to eat mindfully? Here are some tips I recommend to many of my clients:

Implementing any of these tips into your daily life can help you live and eat mindfully and truly enjoy your food - I encourage you to try it out! For more personalized recommendations, you can always speak with a Registered Dietitian who can guide you through the process of mindful eating and put you in the right direction for healthy behavior change.

Happy eating!

Julia Burt, M.Sc(A), RD

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