Updated: Nov 26, 2019
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is deliberately and purposefully paying attention to the experience at hand. It is about being in the moment, accepting life as it is-- its challenges and its blessings, and being aware of our current experiences.
Why to be a mindful eater?
Eating mindfully can bring gratitude, acceptance, and a feeling of "living in the now" to our day. Mealtime can be a moment for relaxation and centering-- by focusing on the experience of eating. Eating mindfully can also help us to eat more slowly, which in turn may mean fewer Calories at the end of the day with an equally happy belly and mind.
1. Look at your food
Take a moment to really look at your food-- the colors, the textures, the shapes. Look at the abundance that you have on your plate. Give yourself a moment to internalize these experiences and let your mouth salivate.
2. Show gratitude for your food
Be thankful for what you have. Verbalizing your gratitude or even consciously taking a moment to say thanks for your food show your respect for the moment, yourself, and how you nourish yourself. Those who also express their gratitude are more likely to be happier people.
3. Eat slowly
Eating slowly helps you to savor all of the flavors of the beautiful meal that you (or someone else) made. Not only is it a great tool for practicing mindfulness, but eating slowly can also help you feel full on fewer Calories. It takes about 20 minutes from your first bite for your brain to realize that you have eaten and that you feel full. Eating slowly gives your brain a chance to catch up to the action going on in your tummy.
4. Eat without distractions
Distractions prevent us from being in the moment. Some distractions could range anywhere from eating while watching TV to eating while doing homework. Either way, your focus is on another task instead of on what is going into your body. There is a greater chance that this could lead to overeating.
5. Focus on the full sensory experience of eating
Food and eating is a beautiful sensory experience. You get to use your senses of sight, smell, taste, touch and sometimes listening too. Have you ever taken a moment to smell your food? What does it smell like to you? Use descriptive words to explain the taste of dinner tonight. How would a restaurant menu describe it? Feel the textures on your tongue. How does it change with each bite? What sounds can you hear? Crunches, snap, or fizz?