6 Simple Tips to Eat Mindfully at Every Meal

We’ve all been there. There was no time for breakfast at home, and now you’re in your car, stuck in traffic and running late for work. You’re starving and stressed out, and you mindlessly shove a massive blueberry muffin in your mouth. Not only does this result in crumbs all over yourself and your car, but you’re distracted. You are not completely focused on eating or driving. Your full presence is missing from both tasks.
When you eat with a lack of awareness, presence and mindfulness, you create a disconnect between your mind and body. You consume more, which leads to weight gain, and you end your meal or snack still feeling unsatisfied.
Cultivating mindfulness in dietary habits sounds simple, but can be a lot of work. This involves making conscious choices about what, when and why you are eating.
Here are 6 tips to incorporate mindfulness into your meals:

1. Be Grateful

Make sure to give thanks and be grateful for the food in front of you before, during and after your meal. You don’t have to call this a prayer, but take a moment to say thanks before diving into your dish. This appreciation makes the food taste better – no matter who cooked it!

2. Where Matters

Do not eat on the go, on the couch, in front of the TV, or at your desk. Instead, eat at a table – every time. When you only eat at a table, it limits distractions and enables your mind to stay focused on your meal and the nutrition that you are supplying your body.

3. Five Senses

You should pay attention to what you are eating. No, really. What does the food on your plate look like? What is the texture? How does it feel in your mouth? How does it sound when you chew? How does it smell and how does that make you feel? Examine your food through each of the five senses to have a real appreciation for your meal.


4. Chomp Chomp and More Chomp

Don’t dig in and chow down on your food mindlessly. Instead, chew your food thoroughly and make it a meditation of sorts. The smaller your food is when swallowed (i.e. the more you chew), the easier it travels through the rest of your digestive system.

5. Slow and Steady

Eating your meal should be an enjoyable experience, not a marathon. Let your body have time to recognize satiety, and learn how to listen to your body and know when you have eaten enough. You can do this by setting down your utensils between bites. Also, we often confuse thirst for hunger, or eat emotionally or out of boredom. Take a mindful moment, and determine what your body is telling you. If you still feel hungry, take another bite. Repeat this until you feel satisfied – not full or overly stuffed.

6. Forgive, Learn, and Practice

You don’t become a master of anything overnight. If you slipped up and devoured an entire chocolate cake in a matter of minutes, that’s okay! Take a breath, forgive yourself, and think about how to avoid the same situation next time. Mindfulness takes practice and patience.
Practicing mindful eating opens doors for a healthy relationship with food. Being present at the table and with your meals reduces overeating, increases general satisfaction and enjoyment, and vastly improves digestive health.
Follow the steps above and start with just one meal. Eat as mindfully as you can, and then do it during your next meal. Take note of how you feel after eating. Eventually, mindful eating will become a habit, and mindfulness will creep into the rest of your day as well, without you even trying!

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Michelle Anderson

Michelle is a yogi nutritionist born and raised in Denver, CO. She grew up passionate about health and wellness, and has been through her fair share of diet and fitness crazes over the years. She is a firm believer that 'you are what you eat', but also thinks food should be fun. She loves hiking, painting, cuddling up with her dog Max, and partner handstanding at Outlaw Yoga.


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