So many activities in our lives can be better if we approach them with intention. This is true for watching television, having a conversation, sleeping and of course eating, just to name a few. Intentional eating is about eating mindfully and choosing to consume foods that make us feel good and reflect our values.
The opposite of intentional eating is emotional eating. Gaby Vaca- Flores, A registered dietitian states that “Stress is one of the main culprits behind emotional eating. Stress eating is a form of emotional eating, which is defined as eating in response to an emotion instead of hunger.”
Turning to foods that taste good or are comforting can provide temporary joy. Manufacturers intentionally make foods hyper-palatable by adding excessive salt, sugar and flavors. These lead to a temporary boost of the feel good hormone dopamine.
Unfortunately, emotional eating can have negative health effects and lead to significant weight gain. Mindless or emotional eating when you’re simply bored or upset and not even hungry can easily lead to consumption of a whole box of cookies or bag of chips before you even realize it.
Whether savoring a shot of bourbon from a custom decanter or eating a delicious piece of salmon, I always remember how special and precious it is that we have enough food and that we have the ability to savor the taste and smells of great cooking.