We live in such a fast-paced world, with so many things on our minds at once, that we often lack the time and attention to properly focus on HOW we are eating. Everyone knows that eating food is an important part of each day, but don’t quite realize what all we are eating, and when we are eating. This mindless eating can lead to feeling unsatisfied with your food and decrease the enjoyment that food should bring you. There are many small changes you can make, and mindfulness tips to try, that will overall enhance your relationship with food and mealtimes. Mindful eating isn’t a fad diet; instead, it’s an approach to not only how you eat, but how you think about the food you are eating. Reduced stress, increased pleasure, and better digestion are benefits of mindful eating that we could all benefit from. So, you may ask yourself, “How do I become a mindful eater, and what does mindful eating look like?”. If you simply just slow down, start to think more about what you are putting into your body, when you’re eating, and the environment you eat in, then you are already well on your way to being a mindful eater.
Below are a few tips to implement at meal time to help you to tune into how your body is feeling while eating, and focus your attention on the food on your plate, not on the thousands of other thoughts that may be swirling through your head at that moment.
- Slow Down: Slowing down while eating allows you to be more thoughtful and intentional with what you are eating, and may also aid in digestion. Chewing food longer, drinking water throughout the meal, and actually taking a break to put your utensil down can help slow down the rate at which you eat.
- Tune Into All of Your Senses While Eating: Think about how a piece of food smells, what it looks like, what it’s texture feels like as you chew it, and finally, how it tastes. Taking the time to observe all these things will help you slow down the rate at which you are eating, and lead to more enjoyment during your meal.
- Don’t Multitask While Eating: Having a meal while watching TV, scrolling through social media, or eating while studying often distract you and lead to mindless eating.
- Sit Down at a Table While Eating: We have all been in situations where we are eating a meal on the go, or grabbing a bite of food between obligations, but by sitting down at a table, you are allowing yourself to be present with your meal and focus solely on the plate in front of you.
While it’s not possible to practice these mindfulness tips at every meal, or every time you eat, they will still be beneficial if you start to incorporate them into your routine little by little. The desired outcome from mindful eating is to feel more relaxed and content during meals, feel more satisfied after meals, and improve digestion.
Good luck trying these mindfulness tips and tricks, and remember to slow down amongst all the hectic-ness of life.