Taking time to be mindful of your eating process and not focusing on restricting calories could enhance your awareness of the experience, improve your relationship with food and help you lose weight. Mindful eating can be an essential practice in today’s multitasking world. Multitasking while eating can lead to less satisfaction with your meals, less awareness of the food, and, often, overeating.
Mindful eating focuses on being present and aware of one’s feelings, thoughts, physical sensations, and environment during meals.
Mindful eating makes you fully aware of the eating experience and your thoughts and feelings about food. This concept encourages focusing on preparing and consuming your food in a distraction-free environment. By thinking about the food, you may become more aware of the signals your body sends to your brain that indicate satisfaction and fullness, which can help you improve your general health and well-being.
Tips for Mindful Eating
Mindful eating may sound simple, but it takes practice. Consider the following mindful eating tips:
- Evaluate your appetite and continue to assess while eating.
- Start with small portions to help respect your hunger and satiety cues.
- Engage your senses while eating, noticing what you see, smell, feel, taste, and hear.
- Eliminate distractions as they can fuel a negative relationship with food or lead to overeating or emotional eating.
- Chew your food more, allowing additional time for digestion and recognizing your body’s cues.
- Don’t skip meals since it can increase your risk of extreme hunger, often leading to quick and unhealthy food choices.
You can start small by attempting the practice once a week—for example, establish a “Mindful Monday.” Contact a registered dietitian if you need additional help or guidance with mindful eating or general eating habits.