Eating Mindfully

We’ve talked about doing other things mindfully before. We’ve also talked about food in different aspects. Today we combine the two to give you mindful eating ! Food is fuel and to use it that way, we need to have a healthy relationship with it. Much like building any other meaningful relationship, it requires some undivided attention.

big family in kitchen and man feeding baby in feeding chair
Photo by Vanessa Loring on

What Is Eating Mindfully

When you engage in mindful eating, you give your food undivided attention. You breathe deeply to prepare your body and make sure your body and mind are connected. Then you inhale the aroma of the food. You investigate every part of it with both your hands and eyes. You then take one bite at a time and chew it completely before swallowing, savoring the flavor. It uses all of your senses !

Benefits

The main benefit of learning to eat this way is that you don’t over eat. When we’re eating for taste instead of fuel, it’s easy to do too much. And no one expects you to never eat for pleasure again. However, when you use all your senses first, you feel more satisfied with the treat much sooner.

Eating mindfully also gives your body and brain time to communicate properly. Scientists say it takes around 30 minutes for your brain to register that your stomach is full. So if you’re taking less than 30 minutes to eat, you end up overeating because you simply don’t realize you’re full. Using all of your senses and doing so without distractions forces you to take longer.

Signs You’re Eating Mindfully

  1. You stop eating when you’re full
  2. You eat when your body tells you to eat, despite the time of day
  3. When you’re eating, you’re not doing anything besides eating
  4. You’re eating foods that are nutritious
  5. You think about where your food comes from

Signs You’re Not Eating Mindfully

  1. You feel stuffed when you’re done
  2. Eating makes you feel tired and sluggish
  3. You choose foods because they are emotionally comfortable
  4. You eat when you’re bored
  5. You consider a meal an end product

Take Action

If you haven’t been eating mindfully, it’s not too late to start ! Take baby steps, start with the next snack you pick up. Engage all your senses and consider where the food came from. Make sure you’re sitting in one place, undistracted.

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