Five Mindful Eating Habits

Discover what mindful eating is and five mindful eating habits in this article!
Five Mindful Eating Habits

Last update: 15 August, 2019

To eat mindfully, you have to examine your eating habits. It’s also important to control your eating-related thoughts and emotions. Following a smart diet will allow you to better enjoy your meals and break any kind of relationship they may have with anxiety and stress.

To do this, pay attention to hunger signals. Eat consciously and leave aside any negative thoughts that may invite you to raid your pantry even when you aren’t hungry.

Your emotions influence what and how you eat. Therefore, pay attention to the effects that food has on your body.

A study conducted by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that being distracted or not paying attention to the act of eating tends to make people eat more during meals.

This confirms that mindful eating can help you lose weight. So, if you’re worried about your weight, paying more attention to what you eat could help you control the number of calories you consume.

Five mindful eating habits

The following habits will help you eat mindfully. Keep in mind that mindful eating isn’t about following a strict diet. Instead, it’s a way to stay in control of the sensations that manifest when you eat.

1. Listen to your body

We often listen to our minds first. But, as with many other mindfulness practices, we can discover the ideal time to eat if we listen to our bodies.

With that in mind, don’t rely on emotional signals to eat. These signals may be different for everyone and include stress, sadness, frustration, loneliness, or simply boredom. Instead, simply listen to your body before eating. Is your stomach growling? Do you have no energy? Do you feel lightheaded?

A woman practicing mindful eating.

Mindful eating is linked to the hunger signals that the body sends. Mindfulness applied to food is helpful in recognizing behavioral patterns. It helps you pay attention to the bodily signals associated with hunger and fullness.

2. Plan meals in advance

Preparing meals in advance can also help reduce mindless eating. Instead of preparing a meal at the last minute, you can plan a meal for yourself, your family, or your friends that includes all of the food groups.

Planning meals regularly helps establish a consistent eating schedule. The dishes you prepare don’t have to be elaborate. The key is to incorporate a variety of nutrients and textures. Remember to enjoy every bite!

3. Sit down and enjoy your food

This might seem like a simple suggestion that shouldn’t even have to be mentioned, but think about how many times you eat while you’re walking around the kitchen or focusing on another activity. It’s best to eat without distractions.

4. Try to identify each ingredient

Trying to taste and identify all the different ingredients is another great way to focus on the present moment and eat mindfully.

Concentrate on all the flavors you can taste and how they interact with each other, in addition to the aromas and textures. This helps you to both appreciate your food and eat slowly. An additional advantage of this technique is that it can also help you be more creative in the kitchen.

Also, try to identify each ingredient when you have meals at restaurants. This can be a fun challenge since you didn’t prepare the dishes.

A woman eating ice cream.

5. Eat slowly

Finally, the last key for mindful eating is to eat slowly. Keep in mind that, among other benefits, eating slowly helps you to eat less during meals.

This is because the brain needs time to register that you’re eating and to communicate with your body when it’s full. In fact, it takes the brain about twenty minutes to know that it has eaten enough.

Eat slowly and listen to your body when you’re satisfied. A good idea is to try to make conversation if you’re eating with friends or family.

These mindful eating habits may help you control the amount of food you eat, lower your stress levels, and improve your digestion.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.