5 Simple Mindfulness Eating Instructions That You Can Take Action On Today
You’re stressed, you’re overworked, and you just don’t have the time to take care of yourself. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a recipe for disaster. To change that, give yourself a break and learn how to take care of your body with 5 easy mindfulness eating instructions you can adopt.
Do you want to know what mindfulness eating is? It’s not about an affirmation or a diet; it’s about learning to eat without distractions.
Mindfulness eating is one of the mindfulness activities you can leverage to improve your health, and here’s how.
Get a Small Piece of Food
This is a brief exercise for those who have heard of mindful eating but have no idea where or how to begin. It is simple and only takes a few minutes.
Typical examples of foods you can use for this exercise include a small piece of cookie, raisin, or nut. You can actually choose your own food for this exercise. Unlike other types of dieting, mindfulness eating does not focus on rules or deprivation.
Engage your senses, as many as possible, when you explore the piece of food of your choice.
A great way to start is to pay attention to what you’re eating.
🍔 How does it smell?
🍔 What does it look like?
🍟 What does it sound like when you eat it?
🍟 How long do you chew before swallowing?
🍟 What’s the taste like in your mouth?
Tune into your senses, notice your thoughts and feelings, and make mindful choices for your body.
Engage Your Sense of Touch
Close your eyes, and then use your sense of touch to explore the food. Take note of what the food feels like – whether it is dry, moist, sticky, or grainy.
Bear in mind that the exercise here is just to take note of the various aspects of your experience, engaging one sense at a time. This is a typical example of mindful eating.
Engage Your Sense of Smell
Now, it’s time to engage your sense of smell in exploring the food. Do this before you start the actual eating. Don’t forget to pen down what you noticed.
Start the Actual Eating
It’s time to do the actual eating. You should target making not less than two bites to finish the food, no matter how small the quantity is.
When you take the first bite, chew very slowly and deliberately take note of your actual sensory experience regarding tasting and chewing. Don’t forget, you can experience the food without thinking about it.
Here’s a tip: Try closing your eyes momentarily, to help you concentrate on the sensations of chewing the food and tasting it, and then you can continue.
When you eat mindfully, you are not asked to think, but instead to notice different aspects of your experience one by one using your senses.
Don’t forget to take note of the food’s texture, as well as how it feels in your mouth. Also, take note of how the flavor changes moment to moment as you chew.
Finish this first bite very slowly – this will take about 20 minutes, so that you can be conscious of the sensations involved in chewing and tasting.
Mindfulness eating doesn’t necessarily mean you must eat slowly. The essence of taking it slow initially is to help you stay mindful as much as possible.
Take a Second Bite
During this second bite, chew very slowly as well and pay attention to the sensory experience of eating. These include the movements and sensations of chewing, including how the food’s flavor changes, as well as the sensations of swallowing the food.
The emphasis on mindfulness eating is for you to pay attention to each moment with every process.
One of the mindfulness dieters, Don, says, “When I engage in mindfulness eating, I become more aware of the flavor of the food, which helps me to eat less.”
Mindfulness eating will ultimately help you overcome eating disorders such as overeating, food cravings, binge eating, emotional eating, addictive eating, and stress eating.
Try these mindfulness eating tips the next time you’re hungry.
- Sleuth out your hunger cues
- Notice how your hunger feels in your body and what you’re craving
- Make a mindful choice of food
- Eat your food slowly
- Turn off any TV, music, or any distracting screens while eating and tune into your body
- Notice the taste and texture of what you’re eating
- Stop eating before you feel full or stuffed
- Make a habit of sitting down for a meal instead of grazing
- Keep it slow and savor the food
- Put the fork down between bites
- Put your phone away when you’re eating
- Enjoy every bite