Are you wanting to learn to eat more mindfully, but don’t know where to start?
This post includes some questions to help you eat mindfully.
Just like anything to do with non-diet nutrition, be aware of not falling into the diet trap – i.e. ‘the mindful eating diet’.
The following ideas are purely to help you experiment with mindful eating and to help you know what suits you when becoming more mindful during eating. These ideas may or may not be suitable for you.
Before we jump into the list, let’s define what mindful eating is.
Mindful eating is a way of eating without distractions that helps us to tune into our body and experience food with all our senses (smell, sights, touch, texture & taste).
Eating mindfully is a great way to understand how the body feels during eating which helps us to eat food that we actually feel like and at the times and in the quantities that leaves us feeling good.
Basically, mindful eating helps us to be an intuitive eater.
Mindful eating is not only healthy for our body, but healthy for your mind.
Mindful Eating Checklist
- Am I sitting down?
- Am I aware of my level of hunger? E.g. Am I eating regularly – eating at least 3 meals a day?
- How am I feeling? E.g. happy, sad, bored, stressed, tired, anxious and so on.
- Am I aware of any dieting behaviours that can distract me? E.g. judging the food or your behaviours, reading labels, calorie counting, weighing food/myself etc.?
- Am I aware of any other distractions? Am I watching TV, using the phone, talking, working, reading etc.
- Am I aware of the smell of the food?
- Am I aware of the what the food looks like? E.g. shiny, smooth, rough etc
- Am I aware of how the food feels like? E.g. smooth, rough, crunchy, hard, soft, slimy, dry, moist, crumbly, grainy, gelatinous, liquid, light, a combination of textures etc.
- Am I aware of how the food tastes? E.g. sweet, salty, bitter, sour, umami.
- Am I eating slowly? E.g. Pausing between bites, chew food thoroughly, taking small bites, using your non-dominant hand or chopsticks could help too.
Mindful Eating Exercise
You are an alien from out of space and you have landed on earth, in this room, and you see your favourite food in front of you.
You have no idea what this ‘food’ is so you are going to use all your senses to explore it and find out.
So let’s begin:
You look at the food. How does it look? E.g. shiny, smooth, rough etc
You pick up the food. What does it feel like? E.g. smooth, rough, crunchy, hard, soft, slimy, dry, moist, crumbly, grainy, gelatinous, liquid, light, a combination of textures etc.
You listen to the food. What does it sound like? E.g. dense, empty, crunchy etc
You smell the food. What does it smell like? E.g. freshly cooked, hot, sweet, savoury etc.
You place the food on your lips….lick it…..take your first mouthful….move it around your mouth….and swallow the food.
How much pleasure did you receive from that first eating experience?
Do it again. And again. And again…
What do you notice?
Do you use your sense when you eat? If so, what ones? If not, why not?
What could you do differently when you eat your next now that you’ve been introduced to mindful eating?
What is the ONE mindful eating strategy you will try at your next eating experience?