Last updated on November 29th, 2023.
Mindful eating comes from mindfulness, an age-old practice across many cultures and religions. Mindfulness involves focusing on one’s physical sensations, thoughts, and emotions in the present moment. Mindfulness requires you to be more aware than reactive. Eating mindfully means using your physical and emotional senses to experience and enjoy the food and food choices you’re making. By practicing mindful eating, you become more grateful for your food, which increases your eating experience. Most of us eat food and can’t recall what we ate, how it tasted, or even the sensations of eating it. According to studies, the average American spends two and a half hours a day eating, but over half is spent doing something else. Because of these other activities, we do while eating, we need to be fully aware.
The 5 Best Mindful Eating Courses Online are as below:
When we aren’t fully aware when eating, it results in mindless eating and a lack of awareness of the food we consume. Mindless eating is what’s contributing to the national obesity epidemic. By fully paying attention to the food you’re eating, you’ll, in turn, know what your body craves and what makes you feel good and healthy. Getting used to mindful eating may take some time, so we present you with the best mindful eating courses online. These courses will guide you toward practicing mindfulness when eating, thus improving your health in the long run.
What is mindful eating?
Mindfulness is a practice that most religions have been practicing for centuries and is a popular way of self-calming, which can change eating behaviors easily. Mindful eating in recent years has been incorporated into behavior change programs alongside recommended dietary behavior changes. According to Jon Kabat-Zinn, mindfulness is “paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”
Mindful eating means being attentive to our food, on purpose, from one moment to the next, without judgment. When practicing mindful eating, you focus on sensual awareness of the food and your food experience. Mindful eating has nothing to do with calories or food groups like proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Even though the primary purpose of practicing mindful eating isn’t to lose weight, people who practice mindful eating will likely lose more weight in the long run. Mindful eating intends to help individuals savor the moment and the food, encouraging their full attention to the eating experience.
Regular diets tend to place weight and focus on how much to eat, what to eat, and what not to eat. All these rules are intended to measure specific outcomes like weight loss. However, all diets have the potential for success or failure based on the desired results, like weight loss. It is rare for people to maintain their eating behaviors without seeing the desired changes. However, by practicing mindful eating, the desired outcome isn’t weight loss or anything superficial but instead experiencing the present moment in your eating experience. Doing so lets you notice which foods work for you and which don’t and eventually be happy with your eating behaviors.
What's the best way to get started eating mindfully?
To practice mindfulness, you will need a series of meditations and exercises. Attending a seminar or taking an online mindfulness and mindful eating course is best. However, simple things can help you get started on this journey. These include:
- Chewing thoroughly
- Notice internal and external cues that affect how much you eat.
- Eating in silence
- Consider where your food came from, who prepared it, and how it was prepared.
- Eating slowly without rushing
- Express gratitude for the food you’re about to eat. This could mean saying a little prayer.
- Serve in modest portions, and stop eating when you feel full
- Reflect on how your food choices could affect the world locally and internationally.
- Focus on how the food you’re eating makes you feel
- Take deep breaths before getting started with your meal and afterward
- Ask yourself why you’re truly eating. Is it because of hunger, or are you just eating because of boredom? Ask yourself whether the food you’re eating is healthy
- Engage all your senses by noticing your food’s smell, taste, texture, and color. Notice how you feel when eating. You can pause periodically to engage these senses
When starting, you can concentrate on doing this with one meal of the day, then progress to practicing mindful eating with all your meals.
The 5 Best Mindful Eating Courses Online
These mindful eating courses online will help you step into consuming your meals while instilling mindfulness practice in your life.
1. YogaRenew: Mindful Eating Online Course
The Mindful Eating course from YogaRenew is an intensive, evidence-based training in mindfulness and mindful eating, where you will learn new skills, tools, and practices to become a proper mindful eating and meditation practitioner and instructor.
This course is designed for you to work at your own pace with videos, guided practices, personal logs, and inquiry sheets. You’ll begin by learning the foundations of mindfulness and meditation in preparation for your mindful eating practice.
2. MasterClass: Michael Pollan Teaches Intentional Eating
In an era where our food choices carry ethical, health, and environmental implications, acclaimed author Michael Pollan steps forward as a navigator. Drawing from decades of research and experience, Pollan’s MasterClass offers a roadmap for eating more ethically, healthfully, and sustainably. From understanding the nuances of the Western diet to the values embedded in our food choices, his teachings are a beacon for those who seek to make conscious decisions about what they eat.
Pollan reminds us of the joy of cooking our food. He encourages us to become modern-day alchemists in the kitchen and take pride in our cultural food traditions. Beyond food choices, Pollan discusses the psychological tricks that corporations employ to manipulate our eating habits and advocates for a primarily plant-based diet, emphasizing the health benefits and urging us to trust our instincts regarding genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
He enlightens on the four food chains: industrial, big organic, regenerative, and first-person, and unpacks the values each represents. He takes us to regenerative farms, where permaculture practices are transforming the way we interact with the land, animals, and our communities. We also learn deep facts about the meat industry, exposing its dark underbelly and presenting ethical alternatives.
With Michael Pollan as a mentor, embark on a path to make more conscious, ethical, and fulfilling choices in our everyday food lives. Eating becomes more apparent, and his simple food rules offer a sustainable approach in a world full of dieting fads.
3. MindValley: Get Food Freedom
This course encourages you to eat what you want when you want it and in desired quantities. It will help you transform your brain chemistry to only desire foods that are good for you, which don’t make you feel guilty or bad after eating. This program combines nutritional science and behavioral psychology, leading you to life changes. Within a few weeks, the program promises to completely reverse old habits you’ve built up to this point in your lifetime. This program could also help you eliminate prolonged health issues and regain control of your life. In the end, you’ll achieve the healthiest version of yourself.
4. Coursera: Food Mindfulness
This is your course if you want to change how you eat consciously. This course explores the history of our changing food behaviors and the science behind cravings for unhealthy foods and teaches concrete strategies for rebuilding your relationship with food. You will also learn how to practice mindful eating and compassion for yourself. You will gain tools to create a customized plan to transform your relationship with food and improve your health. By the end of the program, you’ll learn to observe your unique eating patterns, identify areas that need improvement, and genuinely love the foods that will support your health in the long term.
5. Sharecare: Eat Right Now
Eat Right Now is an app that is scientifically proven to reduce cravings by 40%. According to Eat Right Now, all you need in a day is ten minutes to change your life. By the end of the program, you’ll change your relationship with food and build sustainable eating habits. Signing up for the program gives you access to guided videos and audio, mindfulness exercises, customizable goals, and access to an active community. Psychiatrist and neuroscientist Dr. Judson Brewer created these to help those with binge eating and eating disorders. Alongside these lessons and videos, you’ll have in-app tools to help you break unwanted habits when stressed. Once every week, you’ll have online live sessions with experts to answer your questions.
These mindful eating courses will help deal with binge eating or unhealthy diets. You will discover new ways to handle stress, be more aware, and practice mindful eating. By choosing a course of your choice from the best mindful eating courses online above, you’ll be signing up for a new life journey where you get to change your eating habits for the better.