Mindful Eating

January 12, 2009

Have you ever had trouble remembering what you ate for lunch when its dinner time? Does your spoon give you your only workout for the day as you shovel down a pint of ice cream? Have you ever choked on a big piece of food because you had not chewed it up enough? Well I don’t know about you but I have been guilty of mindless eating. Whether I feel hungry or not, excited to eat or not, the results are usually the same, I sit down to eat while watching the TV or talking to my family without paying much attention to the food or my eating habits. This year I have a few goals that I want to accomplish but I decided that in order to help my success I would sometimes combine two or more goals. That started a web search on Mindful Weight loss which introduced me to the concept of Mindful Eating.


The Center Of Mindful Eating has created this a list of mindful eating priciples.

Mindful Eating is:
• Allowing yourself to become aware of the positive and nurturing
opportunities that are available through food preparation and consumption by respecting your own inner wisdom.
• Choosing to eat food that is both pleasing to you and nourishing to your body by using all your senses to explore, savor and taste.
• Acknowledging responses to food (likes, neutral or dislikes) without judgment.
• Learning to be aware of physical hunger and satiety cues to guide your decision to begin eating and to stop eating.


Stephanie Vangsness, R.D., posted an article on Brigham and Women’s Hospital that included an eating exercise:

Do this exercise with a friend. You will need one small slice of an apple for each person. One person reads the instructions listed below while the other person completes the exercise.

  1. Take one bite of an apple slice and then close your eyes. Do not begin chewing yet.
  2. Try not to pay attention to the ideas running through your mind, just focus on the apple. Notice anything that comes to mind about taste, texture, temperature and sensation going on in your mouth.
  3. Begin chewing now. Chew slowly, just noticing what it feels like. It’s normal that your mind will want to wander off. If you notice you’re paying more attention to your thinking than to the chewing, just let go of the thought for the moment and come back to the chewing. Notice each tiny movement of your jaw.
  4. In these moments you may find yourself wanting to swallow the apple. See if you can stay present and notice the subtle transition from chewing to swallowing.
  5. As you prepare to swallow the apple, try to follow it moving toward the back of your tongue and into your throat. Swallow the apple, following it until you can no longer feel any sensation of the food remaining.
  6. Take a deep breath and exhale.


Here a video to help you understand what it is to eat mindlessly.  When I watched it I have to admit it was a little weird at first but you get use to it.


There were a few links I found very helpful:

Mindful Eating by Thich Nhat Hanh

Mindful eating vs. mindless munching by Goldman

The CAMP System


If you liked this post you migh also like:

Healthy Snacks

Mindfullnes Affrimations





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