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8 Steps You Can Take to Start Eating Mindfully
8 Steps You Can Take to Start Eating Mindfully

8 Steps You Can Take to Start Eating Mindfully


Mindful eating is one of the healthiest behaviors you can bring to the table. It can teach you how to savor your food and enjoy the experience of eating. Practicing mindfulness while eating also has many health benefits, including better digestion and weight loss.

What Is Mindful Eating?

Mindful eating is about staying in the present moment while eating. It means being aware of how a food or drink tastes, slowing down, and paying attention when food causes a feeling of fullness. Mindful eating may even include shopping and cooking.

Mindful eating can help people manage their health problems. Pain and anxiety can be reduced with mindful eating — so can sleep problems. The goal of mindful eating is to help people savor the moment and the food. It allows them to be fully present for their meal.

What Are the Benefits of Mindful Eating?

Foods have a significant impact on a person’s overall health and wellness. Certain foods can increase energy. Other foods can affect mood. Mindful eating can even improve a person’s relationship with food.

Some benefits of mindful eating include:

  • Weight loss. Mindful eating can help you eat less. This is mainly because you eat more slowly and chew foods more thoroughly.
  • Better digestion. Chewing your food more slowly helps it break down more. This can help prevent stomach pain. It may also help you absorb more nutrients.
  • Less stress and anxiety. You can focus more on enjoying your food, and less on things that are bothering you.
  • More satisfaction with food. You will be better able to taste and savor your food. You may also feel less full.

8 Steps to Eating Mindfully

People who want to eat mindfully can take the below steps to get started.

1. Make a Shopping List

A shopping list can help you stick to buying only healthy foods. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds are examples of nutritious foods. You can also look at healthy recipes before making a list. Then you can buy all the ingredients you need for your recipes.

You can find lots of healthy foods at your local farmer’s market. These places often sell fresh, affordable produce that is locally grown. You can also check out your local food bank. Food banks are good sources of healthy foods that are donated. The food you get from a food bank is free of charge.

2. Do Not Skip Meals

Many people who skip meals end up overeating. When they finally do eat, they might eat too fast. Or they may be so hungry they are willing to eat anything.

If you want to eat mindfully, do not skip meals. Make a plan to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Snacks between meals are okay, too. Choose fruits, vegetables, and nuts for snacks. These are all affordable options.

3. Turn Off All Devices

TVs and phones can be distracting during mealtimes. People who watch TV while eating cannot practice mindfulness. This is because their minds are on the TV, not food.

All devices, including TVs, should be turned off before you sit to eat. People with phones should put them on silent. Using a device during meals may lead to overeating.

4. Start With a Small Portion

Eating a small portion size can help you avoid eating large amounts. You can also use a smaller plate instead of a big one. This can keep your portions small.

Avoid eating food directly out of its box or package. Doing so makes it difficult to track how much you are eating.

5. Take Small Bites

Taking small bites can help you experience the taste of your food. It can also help you avoid overeating. People who eat mindfully can enjoy all the different flavors. They can also try to guess the ingredients.

Focus on taking small bites while you eat. If you are eating with others, ask them about the flavors they taste.

6. Chew Each Bite Thoroughly

People who swallow their food without chewing often cannot taste it. Chewing food all the way helps bring out its flavors. It also helps with digestion. The stomach can digest food more easily when it is in small pieces.

7. Eat Slowly

Eating slowly can help the brain identify all ingredients and flavors. It can also help you eat less.

People who eat slowly are able to know when they are full. It takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to tell the brain it is full. Eating quickly does not give the stomach enough time to tell the brain it is time to stop. Putting down utensils between each bite may help people eat more slowly.

8. Sit Down at the Table

Avoid standing while eating, as it can interfere with relaxation. Eating in bed or in the car should also be avoided. Eating in these places can be distracting and uncomfortable.

Ask your caregiver or doctor for more tips on how to eat mindfully. Your caregiver can also help you create a healthy diet or meal plan.

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