Eating mindfully is about paying attention, being fully aware, and in the moment. Mindfulness is awareness without criticism or judgement. When we focus on eating mindfully, we focus on building a healthy relationship with food. Being mindful can vastly improve our relationships with food by reducing stress-related overeating, emotional eating, and achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight.
Practical Tips to Eating Mindfully
- Eat with no distractions - find a spot in your house to eat that is separate from the TV and computer, eat away from your desk, create a healthy eating environment
- Listen to your body and eat until you’re full - Ask yourself, am I physically hungry or am I responding to an emotional need/want/desire?
- Slow down and appreciate your food - set a timer for at least 20 minutes, eat with your non-dominant hand, utilize chopsticks
- Utilize your senses - notice the smell, the flavors, the texture
Don’t be discouraged if it’s challenging at first. It takes practice and repetition. Daniel Goleman, a psychologist and author of Emotional Intelligence and The Meditative Mind, stated “Every time you do a rep with a free weight, you’re strengthening a muscle. Every time you bring your mind back, the stronger it gets, the more focused.” Continue practicing and continuing to build your mindfulness.