Can Mindful Eating Make a Difference?

Are you a mindful eater? When is it hard to eat mindfully and when is it easier? People sometimes tell us that it’s hard when they’re stressed, upset or when the food is delicious.

When you do eat mindfully, you are better able to digest your food and register fullness. You also tend to eat slower and a smaller quantity, which are both perks for your health.

Here are some tips for eating mindfully:

  • It starts with food choices at the grocery store. Are you selecting foods that will help you feel and perform at your best? Are you making choices emotionally or from the intentions you set for yourself and your well-being?
  • Prepare your food in a way that brings you peace and joy. You may even choose to play some music or enjoy a beverage as you do this.
  • On a scale from 1-10, ask yourself how hungry you are. Don’t allow yourself to become hungrier than a 3 or more full than a 7 or 8. Practicing body scan meditation, a central practice in mindfulness that can be accessed on many video platforms like YouTube, can help you become more accurate on this scale. Many have been taught to eat everything on the plate, which is often too much. It takes some time for the body to feel full.
  • Release stress before you sit down to eat. This helps calm your emotions. It also helps you release any difficulties from the day so you are less likely to eat from stress. You may choose an activity like walking, yoga or journaling to regulate your nervous system so you can more fully enjoy your meal.
  • When you eat, just eat. Put away the electronics. Turn off the television and put your phone away. Enjoy the food for the gift that it is.
  • Slow down and breathe. Put your fork down between each bite. Savor the taste, smell and texture of the meal for even greater pleasure.
  • Offer gratitude to those who participated in make this meal possible – farmers, truck drivers, and so on. Gratitude is powerful for your health and well-being.