Mindful eating focuses on your eating experiences, body-related sensations, and thoughts and feelings about food, with heightened awareness and without judgment. The focus is on the foods being chosen, the reasons why you choose them, how you feel before, and also after. The goal is to help you enjoy the meal, focus on the flavors of the food, and understand how your eating environment plays a role in your decisions.
Basically, mindful eating means focusing on:
What to eat
Why we eat what we eat
How much to eat
How to eat
Yeah, it’s a lot to remember. In the beginning, you should start with this approach to small parts of eating routines, like snacking mindfully. Then gradually work your way up to eating mindfully at meals. Here’s the basic strategy:
where did the food come from?
how was it was prepared?
Who might have prepared it? What does your environment look and feel like? Who and what is around?
All these factors can subconsciously influence your choice to eat, amount you eat, and your enjoyment and anxiety while eating.
notices internal and external cues that affect how much we eat
notices how the food looks, tastes, smells, as we eat: is it sweet, salty, spicy? Creamy, crunchy, rough, or soggy?
How does it feel in your body? Satisfying? heavy? not as satisfying as you thought?
How does your body feel now?
Be thankful for the meal- maybe you planned ahead, someone ordered lunch for you, or you were lucky to scrounge up whatever you had in the kitchen.
Think about how your food choices were influenced by what was around you. Whatever happened, it's ok. This is how we learn. Enjoy today’s moment.
reflects on how our food choices affect our local and global environment
Also Keep in Mind:
Eat slow, small bites, chew thoroughly, and savor each bite. Turn off the tv. Eat without distractions to help deepen the eating experience, slow down the meal and enjoy eating.
Engage all senses. Notice the sounds, colors, smells, tastes, and textures of the food and how you feel when eating. Pause periodically to engage these senses.
Serve yourself smaller portions. This can help avoid overeating and food waste. Use a dinner plate no larger than 9 inches across and fill it only once.
Don’t skip meals. Going too long without eating increases the risk of strong hunger, which may lead to the quickest and easiest food choice, not always healthy ones. Eat at around the same time each day,
Eating mindfully is difficult for most of us, and it takes both time, practice, and we may still have a few misses. Changing your mindset takes time. Work on it slowly, and be happy that you are here. You are trying. Always remember to lean on your care team. We are in your pocket to help you in those tempting moments, or in the aftermath.