Last updated on September 24th, 2023.
We all have the habit of eating without really thinking or paying attention to our bodies. Plus, it doesn’t help when holidays are involved. So, what are the 7 tips for practicing mindful eating?
There are 7 tips for practicing mindful eating. These tips are:
- Pay attention to your shopping lists
- Eat when you are hungry but not starving and take smaller portions.
- Take a moment to appreciate your food.
- Know and pay attention to your body’s queues.
- Create a mindful eating space.
- Be attentive
- Chew and eat slowly
These tips can be helpful when it comes to eating in a mindful way. Reading this article will let you read through not only the tips for mindful eating but also give more details about what mindful eating is and is not.
What’s the Difference Between Mindful Eating and Simply Eating?
Typically, when we sit down to eat, we are not just eating. We are visiting with friends or family, watching tv, playing on our phones, and the list goes on and on. So, you may be wondering, what the difference is between just eating like usual and practicing mindful eating.
Here’s the difference:
- Mindful eating is when the person consuming their food is paying attention to how it looks, tastes, smells, and the amount of food that is on their plate.
- Mindless or simply eating is when the person consuming the food is not paying attention. The person is distracted by their surroundings and sometimes don’t realize they are eating or have eaten the entirety of the food in front of them.
Using mindfulness instead of mindless or simply just eating can help with understanding your body’s signals and queues.
How Can Mindful Eating Improve My Health?
When you think of mindful eating, the health benefits from using it in your everyday life may not seem like much. However, there can be health benefits from practicing mindful eating.
Practicing mindful eating can help reduce or impact the way you consume and think about food. This can change how much you eat, which can alter your appetite and when you eat or snack. Mindful eating can help with emotional eating that leads to weight gain.
Emotional eating can become a way for a person to deal with emotional traumas or stresses in their daily lives. This causes you to overeat. Mindful eating allows you to pick and snack on healthier foods.
Practicing mindful eating habits can help decrease emotional eating and help with your ability to tell the difference between emotional hunger and physical hunger cues.
7 Tips for Mindful Eating
It can never hurt to dive deeper into the tips for practicing mindful eating. Developing a routine for mindful eating can come with some challenges.
1. Pay Attention to Your Shopping Lists
When buying food for meals and snacks it is important when practicing mindful eating.
Stay in the areas of the store where healthy and fresh ingredients are. It is easy to stray down the aisle with fast meals and unhealthy snacks.
When practicing mindful eating, paying attention to what you put on your shopping list can improve your ability to maintain mindfulness.
2. Eat When You Are Hungry, But Not Starving and Take Smaller Portions
If skipping meals is something you regularly do, this makes you susceptible to overeating and consuming your food too quickly.
Eating meals throughout the day helps not only you from getting hungry but also with how fast you eat your meals when food becomes available.
3. Appreciate Your Food
Before we eat, how often do we take a minute to appreciate what is in front of us? How often do we take the time to consider what it took to get that meal? Who prepared it or brought it for you? Perhaps it came from a friend?
Taking the time to appreciate your food allows you to become grateful to those involved with preparing and creating your meals.
4. Pay Attention and Understand Your Body’s Cues
When you eat, are you feeling physically hungry or just have the feeling you want to eat? Understanding what queues your body has when you are hungry can help determine whether you need to eat or just want to eat.
Knowing that you physically need to eat allows for less overeating and a chance that you can eat slower and take smaller bites. This also influences what you decide to eat as well.
5. Create a Mindful Eating Space
Creating mindful eating spaces is important to mindful eating. When habits develop when it comes to eating, they can be harder to get rid of. This causes our brains to trigger a hunger response when there otherwise wouldn’t be one.
Eating in consistent places and having a mindful eating space can help with positive eating habits. When going to the fridge at night, do you grab grapes or the fast-food pizza from two days ago? Creating mindfulness in all areas that can pertain to food can help alter what snacks you reach for.
6. Be Attentive to Your Meal
When you sit down to eat, chances are you normally are multitasking. For example, eating a meal generally resembles those commercials and shows where a couple is sitting down to dinner and only looking at their phones.
When practicing mindful eating habits, concentrating on your meal and eating not only helps you become aware of what you are eating but also on determining whether or not you are getting full.
Paying attention to your plate also lets you become more attuned with how much you are eating for future meal preparations.
7. Chew and Eat Slowly
When it comes to eating, some people don’t know that you are supposed to chew your food between 20 and 40 times per bite, given that the food texture and type allow it. When you chew your food, you are breaking down all the flavors. Chewing your food allows you to enjoy each bite more and more.
When you eat slowly, you are not only able to savor all the flavors involved with your meal, but you can also use this as a guide for hunger queues. Eating slow gives your brain and body time to catch up and be on the same page when it deals with feeling hungry or full.
There are many benefits to practicing mindful eating habits. There are tips that you can go by to help you achieve mindful eating habits. With each tip you follow and apply to your daily eating routines, it is important to make sure that you are aware of what you are eating and how you are eating it.
Not only does this develop good eating habits, but you are able to learn your body’s signals for hunger and when it is full.
Check out this article on the 10 ways mindfulness can help you manage anxiety.