Tips for Mindfulness in Eating
Learning to be mindful during eating is a proven means to eat less (in some studies up to 50% less!) and at the same time reduce stress while improving the pleasure of the dining experience.
Here are the best ways to incorporate the proven power of mindfulness into your daily eating.
- Reserve eating just for eating. Never engage in other distracting activities during meal or snack times. Avoid watching TV, listening to radio commentary, driving a car, reading, writing, texting, answering emails etc. Engaging in conversation with dining partners should be the only competing activity during your eating occasions.
- Sit down to eat your meals from the appropriate dinnerware – preferably at a set table. Strictly avoid eating directly out of a food package, box or bag.
- Before you begin to eat, take a few seconds to calm and center your body and mind. Strive to let go of any negative emotions. Make note of your current hunger and where it ranges on the scale from minimal hunger to ravenous hunger.
- Recall in your mind’s eye what you ate at the previous feeding. If you can remember it as very satisfying that is a bonus.
- If you have control over what is being served, be conscious of portion control. For best results, limit what you will be eating to what fits into your own two hands cupped together minus any fruits and veggies (no need to limit these bulky weightless foods).
- Carefully and with your full attention look at all of your pre-plated food before you begin to eat.
- Begin to eat with a positive and joyful attitude. Acknowledge that foods are important for nourishment and health, but also for pleasure and comfort.
- With each bite of food, pay close attention to the food leaving your plate and entering your mouth. Make note, with all of your senses, to its appearance, taste, aroma, and texture. As eating progress be aware of your hunger mitigating. Stop eating when you feel full.
- Leave any visual evidence of foods consumed on your plate – food wrappers, shells from nuts or shellfish, bones from meat or fish, corn cobs, inedible seeds, etc.
- Never go back for seconds for at least 20 minutes after your first bite of food.
- When your dining is complete, make a mental note that you are comfortably satiated (full), and get up from the table or, at a minimum, push your dinnerware away from your place at the table or request that it be removed.
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