Mastering Your Appetite Through Mindfulness

Takeaways

Embracing mindfulness and self-compassion can help you have a more balanced relationship with food.

Book an Appointment

Our dedicated team is here to support you as you take the first step on your journey towards a healthier and happier you. Book your consultation now to get started.

eClub Sign Up

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Woman on Couch Reading Handout

Nutrition is key to a healthy lifestyle. Knowing the types of hunger and how to embrace mindfulness and self-compassion can be transformative in your journey toward a more balanced relationship with food.

Emotional vs. Physical Hunger

First, let’s differentiate between emotional hunger vs physical hunger. Understanding the characteristics of each will help you address your eating habits mindfully.

Emotional Hunger
This type of hunger is sudden and intense, often craving specific foods. It’s driven by emotions rather than physical needs, leading to automatic or absent-minded eating. It often ignores fullness cues and leaves us feeling guilty after consuming certain foods.

Physical Hunger
Gradual and based in the stomach, physical hunger is patient and open to different foods. It is a response to your body’s physical need for nourishment and stops when you are full, without any accompanying guilt.

Principles of Mindful Eating

Mindful eating is about reaching a state of full attention to your experiences, cravings, and physical cues when you eat a meal. It involves:

  • Eating with Awareness: Noticing the taste, texture, and aroma of your food.
  • Recognizing Hunger and Fullness Cues: Listening to your body’s signals to eat and stop eating.
  • Making Mindful Food Choices: Choosing foods that satisfy your health needs and taste buds.

Try This: Mindful Eating in Action

Enjoy a Five Senses Meal
Engage each of your five senses one at a time as you eat. Notice the colors and shapes of your food (sight), the sounds of chewing the food (sound), the texture and temperature of the food in your mouth (touch), the aroma (smell), and the flavors (taste).

Keep a Mindful Eating Journal
Document what you eat, your hunger level before eating, and your feelings after eating. This will help identify patterns in your eating habits and how they correlate with your emotions and physical sensations.

The Role of Self-Compassion in Your Diet

Self-compassion is about treating yourself with kindness, especially when your habits don’t align with your intentions. It’s an important emotion regulation skill that may disrupt the tendency to use food to cope during a distressing situation. It involves:

  • Practicing Gentle Self-Talk: Being kind to yourself when you deviate from your eating goals.
  • Forgiving Ourselves: Letting go of guilt and shame associated with eating.
  • Counteracting Negative Self-Judgment: Recognizing that everyone has challenges with food and that it’s okay to be imperfect.

Try This: Self-Compassion in Action

Keep a Gratitude Journal
Write down three things your body allowed you to do today. For example, “My legs took me on a beautiful walk,” or “My arms allowed me to hug my friend.” This will help shift the focus from appearance or weight to gratitude for the body’s functions and capabilities, fostering a more positive body image.

Take a Self-Compassion Break
Whenever you notice you’re being hard on yourself, especially regarding your eating habits, pause. Acknowledge the difficulty (e.g., “This is a really challenging moment”), express kindness to yourself (e.g., “It’s okay to struggle”), and remember that imperfection is part of the shared human experience.

Use Compassionate Self-Talk
When you catch yourself being critical about your eating habits, pause and ask, “What would I say to a friend who had this same thought?” Write down this more compassionate response and say it to yourself. This will replace self-criticism with understanding and kindness, reshaping how you talk to yourself about food and eating habits.

Remember: Consistency Is Key

Try to incorporate one or two of these exercises above into your daily routine, and gradually build up as you become more comfortable. The goal is not to be perfect but to grow awareness and kindness towards yourself and your eating behaviors.

Our dedicated team is here to support you as you take the first step on your weight loss journey towards a healthier and happier you. Book your consultation now to get started.

Dr. Kim Feinstein, Psy. D. is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Red Mountain’s Behavioral Weight Loss Specialist. She specializes in weight management, body image concerns, and eating disorders. She prides herself in her ability to educate, guide, and inspire patients to overcome obstacles and ultimately achieve their goals.

Dr. Kim Feinstein, Psy. D. Headshot

Stephanie Bray

Dr. Kim Feinstein, Psy. D. is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Red Mountain’s Behavioral Weight Loss Specialist. She specializes in weight management, body image concerns, and eating disorders. She prides herself in her ability to educate, guide, and inspire patients to overcome obstacles and ultimately achieve their goals.

Let's Do This

Together

Don’t let your weight hold you back. Your guided journey begins here. Book your consultation today.

Related resources

Everything You Need to Know About Revolex TRZ™

Real Talk with the Red Mountain Experts

Real Talk: What Is the Difference Between Tirzepatide and Semaglutide?

Real Talk with the Red Mountain Experts

Real Talk: Why Are Red Mountain’s Diet Plans So Specific? Can I Add Other Foods to My Diet?

Doctors in White Lab Coats

Breaking Down Tirzepatide with RM Founder Dr. Bentz

Woman preparing a healthy meal

Revolex TRZ™ vs. Mounjaro® & Zepbound™: How Do They Compare?