What is Mindful Eating?
Mindful eating is a practice of focusing one's full attention on the smell, look, and flavors of food while eating. It involves slowing down and staying present in order to derive pleasure and satisfaction from every bite. Mindful eating can be a transformative habit that has helped many people avoid over consumption and rekindle the simple joy of eating.
six steps to mindfully eat a meal
1. Breathe. Take three deep breathes. Use the sensation of breathing to stay in the present moment. Our minds are constantly buzzing replaying the past or making to do lists for the future, focusing on the present is so important to fully tasting and enjoying your food.
2. Put Away Distractions. Put away the phone, computer, TV, and books while you're eating! It is nearly impossible to pay attention to the taste of your food and your own satiety levels with devices buzzing around you.
3. Assess Hunger. Scan your body and assess your hunger level. Noticing sensations in your mouth and stomach can help, also some people find it useful to make it a habit if rating their hunger on a scale of 1-10 before eating.
4. Observe. Take a moment to appreciate the food in front of you with all your senses. What does it smell like? Lean down and take a big whiff! Notice the colors and textures and let them delight you! This also is a great time to consider where your food came from, and express gratitude for all the people and natural forces that brought this bounty to your table.
5. Chew. Chewing is such an automatic process for us humans, so we rarely think about it. However, chewing is a seriously underrated skill, because when done slowly and thoroughly it can significantly help you savor each bite of food.
6. Slow Down. Take a breath and put down your fork in between bites. How does your food taste? Is is sweet, crunchy, creamy, salty? Slowing down is a great way to extend the pleasure of a meal and ensure you end not stuffed but rather pleasantly satisfied.
top mindful eating Resources
There are a ton of amazing books,blogs, resources out there about this subject that you should also check out:
1. The Center For Mindful Eating A one stop shop for resources about mindful eating. Here you can access some excellent free webinar from experts on the subject.
2. Books: Jan Chozen Bays - Mindful Eating
3. Am I Hungry - Michelle May, mindful eating expert, and recovered yo-yo dieter empowers others to take charge of their lives and end chronic dieting and overeating without deprivation and guilt.
4. Geneen Roth’s books were among the first to explore how unhealthy eating habits are linked to deeply personal and spiritual issues that go far beyond food, weight and body image. I most enjoyed the audiobook version: When Food is Food & Love is Love
5. Lauren Fowler Her website is dedicated to helping women feel good in their bodies and find vibrant health.