Here’s a very basic idea: eating changes both body and mind, i.e. the total of who we are. What we eat and how much we eat changes who we are physiologically. Why we eat and how we eat changes who we are psychologically. Mindless eating changes us for the worse. Mindful eating changes us for the better.
Mindless eating changes us for the worse: to the extent to which mindless overeating leads to weight gain, body expands; mind shrinks (metaphorically speaking) because we miss out on the experience; and the total of our wellbeing suffers and declines.
Mindful eating changes us for the better: the body shrinks (mindful eating prevents overeating), the mind expands (in the sense that we’re able to enjoy the actual experience of eating; in the sense that we are able to recognize meditational & existential opportunities in eating); the total of our wellbeing improves. (Click on the image to enlarge).
There is more to mindful eating know-how than just paying attention and chewing ten times. This diagram shows 10 different skill sets that I consider to constitute fully conscious, mindful eating. These are: craving control, trigger control, hunger recognition, fullness recognition, mindful emotional eating, mindful social eating, philosophy of eating, process focus, satiety extension, and appetite control skills. Note: each skill is really a skill-set consisting of sub-skills. For example, craving control consists of such specific craving control skills as distraction, relaxation, self-talk, mindfulness and several combinations thereof.
Pavel Somov, Ph.D.
You’ve heard it again and again: diets don’t work. But here’s a new one for you: diets make you dumb. Some diets, that is. No, not metaphorically – literally!
Mindful eating becomes an important “cog” in the machinary of mindfulness that counters the machinery of mindlessness.
I am please to welcome Dr. Pavel G. Somov, who joins us as a licensed psychologist in private practice, with a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the State University of New York (at Buffalo). He has trained and worked in a variety of clinical settings, which include: psychiatric hospitals, university counseling center, corrections (county jail), community mental health centers, primary care/family medical practice, cancer hospital, veterans’ hospitals, pain clinics, and private practice.
Dr. Somov will be writing here about how to include mindfulness thoughts and techniques throughout your entire life (hence the 360 degree view!).
He is also author of the book, Eating the Moment: 141 Mindful Practices to Overcome Overeating One Meal at a Time.
In this book, psychologist Pavel Somov introduces techniques, exercises, and tools to help you control overeating. These practices can be used at mealtimes to develop a more positive and healthy relationship to food. You’ll learn to develop awareness of the experience of eating and become more centered around your eating. By developing habitual awareness and a playful attitude about the process of eating, you will find that your eating slows down, becoming less compulsive and dictated by external forces such as boredom, emotional pain, or habit.
You can learn more about him and the book here.