3 Ways to Practice Mindful Eating

Enjoy your food more and have better self-control with these three tips for mindful eating.

Woman sitting down with daughter laughs together, 3 ways to practice mindful eating

When was the last time you sat down and had a peaceful meal without any distractions? Today, it can be hard to find time without distractions; however, mealtime can be the perfect time to slow down and take a few minutes for yourself—and your digestion.

Mindful eating means that you are present in the moment—not letting your mind wander—and focused only on eating. By paying attention to what you are eating, you have better control of your food choices and portions.

Benefits of mindful eating

There are many health benefits to eating mindfully beyond enjoying your meal. First, it can improve your overall eating satisfaction. When you are focused on what you are eating, you are able to savor the flavor.

It also helps you build better eating habits because you are more conscious of the types of food you consume. By being mindful, you are in tune with your eating behaviors and can exert self-control.

Eating mindlessly often leads to overstuffing because you are not aware of what and how much you are eating. Similarly, unhealthy snacking is a form of mindless eating. Many common snacks are high in calories and can cause weight gain.

Related: Here’s How to Create a Healthy Diet

With mindful eating, you will notice when your body is fully nourished and know when to put away the meal or snack. This helps you establish a healthy eating lifestyle and promotes weight loss.

Plus, by mindful eating, you can better enjoy the company—whether it is your own, your family, or your friends.

3 ways to become a mindful eater


1. Limit distractions that may steal your attention

Mindfulness requires focus. It is very easy to plop in front of the TV and eat while being transfixed on the latest episode of your favorite show. Before you know it, you have eaten your entire plate.

To avoid this, keep the TV off, close the computer, and put your phone to the side as you eat. Distractions can cause you to become hungrier quicker than usual because your brain was not able to focus on the meal and store it in memory. This can lead to overeating at the next meal.

2. Eat slowly and mindfully

Eating is not the time to rush. Eating fast actually has many consequences like obesity, metabolic syndrome, and gastritis. A good tip is to put your fork down between each bite and allow yourself to chew your food.

Focus on stopping when you are no longer hungry—not full. The term "full" is misleading because by the time you do feel full, you have overeaten. By mindfully eating, you will recognize when you are no longer hungry and better understand the difference between hunger and fullness.

3. Recognize when you are hungry and when you are not

It is easy to snag a snack without even thinking whether you are hungry or not. A good practice is to ask yourself whether you are really hungry or experiencing another feeling such as boredom, stress, or experiencing an emotional eating episode.

However, having a healthy snack between meals gives your body the energy it deserves. You can experience shakiness and dizziness if your body does not get the nutrients it needs on a regular basis. Having a snack every three to five hours can help you avoid the mid-day slump and give you a boost of much-needed energy until your next meal.

Related: How to Eat Healthy: Add More Color to Your Diet

Mindful eating can be difficult to implement. Start with one mindful meal a day, working toward more frequent mindful meals throughout your week.

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