What Is Mindful Eating?

Have you come across the phrase “mindful eating”?

General mindfulness is the idea that you’re paying attention to what you’re doing, engaging your senses, emotions and consciousness, but not judging yourself or anything else. Just deliberately observing.

Compare that to how many people eat every day.

~In the car
~In front of the TV
~In a meeting or while on the phone

All of those common practices prevent mindful eating and encourage, well… MINDLESS eating. And that can lead to eating too much, eating the wrong foods at the right time, and substituting food for psychological health.

So, how can you embrace mindful eating in a world that often encourages the opposite? Here are some suggestions:

1. Start when shopping. Consider each item you put into your cart. What health value does it bring? Are you buying it on impulse because you’re hungry or craving a sweet? Fill your cart with produce and protein, while leaving those center aisles mostly alone. (That’s where most of the super-processed junk “food” sits.)

2. Don’t skip meals or wait until you’re “starving.” That just encourages you to get something – anything! – into your belly right away. It also causes overeating.

3. Think small. Use smaller plates to serve smaller portions. Take small bites, putting the utensils down while you chew.

4. Appreciate your food. Give thanks or at least pause to appreciate everything involved in bringing your food before you.

5. Soak it all in with your senses. When cooking and eating, note how food looks, smells, tastes, even feels. Again – don’t judge. Just pay attention.

6. Eat slowly. Ever catch yourself wolfing down a burger? Not a pretty picture, is it? Now see yourself proceeding through a meal as if you’re actually paying attention to what you’re doing.

Mindful eating helps reprogram your brain around food impulses, improves digestion, regulates eating patterns, and nudges you toward healthier choices.

Here’s to a healthier, more intentional you!

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