This is a question I get asked so frequently, exactly what is mindful eating, and why is it so important? In a nutshell, mindful eating is being present and in the moment before, during and after eating. Its eating with intention AND attention.
To break that down, when was the last time you felt physical hunger? How does physical hunger feel for you? For a lot of you physical hunger may not be easy to determine due to yo-yo dieting and eating at specific times of the day, even eating in front of the TV can throw you out of whack.
Quite a lot of us have forgotten what physical hunger feels like so a good way to start mindful eating is to reconnect to that feeling of physical hunger. Notice when you first start to feel hunger, how does that hunger feel for you, is it a rumbling in your stomach, an empty feeling? Reconnect with what that feeling is for you and start recognising when it occurs. This is a good time to start planning what to eat, when we can make informed choices of food for fuel and sustenance rather than for that hit of sugar or spike of energy.
Think of your feeling of hunger as the fuel gauge on your car, when the orange light goes on you still have, normally, 30 or so miles to go. This is the planning stage and the guide that's a good idea to eat soon. Aim to eat BEFORE reaching that ravenous state where you have have completely run out of 'fuel' and literally ANYTHING will do! Avoid the stage when you are at that stage of as I like to name it 'the bitch from hell!' At this point a rational informed decision about food will be almost impossible and you will grab almost anything.
So being able to really start to tune into that feeling of physical hunger once more, know when this occurs and rationally act on it, is your first step to mindful eating.