Practice Mindful Eating

0815_Woman smiling and eating_webHave you ever found yourself accidently eating a whole bag of chips at your desk? You reach in for your next handful only to find the bag empty. Or maybe you've found yourself unintentionally eating a whole pint of ice cream in front of the television, the spoon scraping the bottom before you know it. We consume quite a bit of unintended calories when we're mindlessly eating, distracted by other thoughts or tasks.

Follow the steps below to improve your mindfulness eating habits, increasing your meal satisfaction and decreasing binging. If this practice is new to you, commit to five minutes of mindful eating a day to get started.

  1. End the multitasking. Carve out a little time in your day to give eating your undivided attention. Not only will this help with portion control, but you'll be more satisfied with your meals.
  2. Breathe. Take a moment before you eat to slow your mind and focus on the food in front of you. Taking two to three deep breaths can help ease into the transition.
  3. Savor the first bite. Engage your senses. Take a look at that first forkful. See the textures and colors. Lift it to your nose and take in the aromas. What flavors can you pull out just from the smell? What are the first flavors you can taste? How would you describe the texture?
  4. Slow down. Put down the fork between bites or chew a bit more thoroughly before swallowing. These steps will help you slow down and savor each bite.
  5. Let your thoughts fly by. When your thoughts start to wander, take note of the thought, but don't engage in it. Acknowledge it, and then return to focusing on eating.
  6. Pause halfway through. Take a moment to reflect on how full you feel. Are you still hungry and want to continue, or are you approaching fullness? Are you eating just because there's more food? Remember that you can always box up leftovers for later.
  7. Reflect on your food choices. As you practice mindful eating, you might find your food preferences change. Which foods increase vs. zap your energy? Pick foods that engage your taste buds and work well with your body. You'll walk away feeling more satisfied and less likely to reach out for another snack.

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Last updated 1/28/2019