JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – You may be wondering how you can eat healthier, or you could be considering a new diet.

The University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) has some tips when it comes to mindful eating based on what your body needs.

UMMC reports that mindful eating is about allowing yourself to consume what resides in your values. Being aware of your eating habits and basing them off your physiological needs is the best way to go.

Many individuals have different goals as far as having a better eating habit. Some are aiming to gain more muscle, while some are aiming to lose weight or balance a particular disease. Basing your eating habit off of what fits best to your goals is leading towards a better lifestyle.

Dr. Danny Burgess, associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, said staying away from ‘bad’ foods isn’t that mindful eating is about.

“Mindful eating is based on what your body needs not anyone else’s and definitely not emotions,” said Burgess. “In the South, it can be triggering.”

Burgess believes that in the South where Soul Food is best, food is associated with all gatherings which can trigger eating foods off of emotions instead of considering if the body needs it.

“Don’t deny yourself,” said Burgess. “Before you go to a gatherings if there’s something you know you shouldn’t eat beforehand, then don’t let the consumption of others break that.”

Burgess suggested to eat small meals before going to a gathering to prevent overeating and practice mindful skills that lead to self-control habits related to eating.