7 Tips for Eating Mindfully

7 Tips to Eating Mindfully

Do you practice eating mindfully?  Food goes far beyond satiating hunger at meal times.  Providing your body with the nutrients required to thrive is a very special ritual and one that should be treated as being special.

Creating your eating ritual to be one of mindfulness is the key to maintaining a healthy relationship with food.  Mindful eating will not only transform your health but your relationship with the foods you ingest as well.

7 Tips to Eating Mindfully

Listen to Your Body

When you feel the hunger sensation stop and ask yourself what it is your body is asking for.  What do you need at this very moment as nourishment?

Consider what would give you energy; what would sustain you, what would make you feel satisfied and well nourished.  Is it a raw salad, or something warming?  Or is it something creamy, crunchy, salty or sweet?  

When you get this tip under wraps, your eating experience will change tremendously.  Your body knows what it needs deep at its core – so listen to it.  It’s easy for issues with hormone imbalance or stress to derail our efforts; so be mindful of this and consider whether or not a momentary lapse into the land of overindulgence is moving you toward your goal or whether it’s an obstacle.

Check in with yourself.  When you feel hunger – listen deeply to what it really is your body needs.

Restore your attention or bring it to a new level by dramatically slowing down whatever you’re doing.

~ Sharon Salzberg

Give Gratitude

Instead of diving in, take some time to appreciate the meal you have before you.  Pause and enjoy the aroma, the aesthetics, and imagine the dedicated farmer who grew, tended, and harvested the food you’re about to consume.

Give gratitude for your meal.  Enjoying food at a deeper level will create a rich, meaningful and spiritual experience worth treasuring.  Instead of “eating on the run” in a hurry, pause, and enjoy activation of your parasympathetic nervous system (“rest and digest”) to help your body to optimally digest, absorb, and assimilate your meal.  

Before you begin a meal, have a silent moment of gratitude for the nourishment you have been blessed with.  Focus on your gratitude throughout the meal for an enjoyable experience.

If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath. ~ Amit Ray

Don’t Forget to Breathe

In the daily hustle and bustle, it’s easy to forget to slow down and enjoy a meal.  Slowing down helps you become more aware of your experience, increasing the mindfulness of your task.

Pay attention to your breathing during meals.  Take the time to slow down and breathe deeply.  Deep breathing helps activate the parasympathetic nervous system, combats stress and is a crucial component of your overall health.  Ingesting your food with this level of mindfulness will aid in healthy digestion and enhance the overall experience of enjoying a meal.

If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath. – Amit Ray

Take deep breaths before each meal.  Be intentional about your presence.  Be aware of your breathing throughout each meal.  Put your fork down between bites and take your time!

Eat Really Well

It is truly incredible the benefits your body reaps when you eat well and mindfully.

The state of your mindset while eating holds as much importance as the quality of food you put into your body.  Eating with sadness, worry or anxiety will have a negative impact on digestion and overall nourishment as eating the same meal with gratitude and love.

While making healthy food choices is incredibly important – be mindful of the state of your mindset every time you sit down to eat.

We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are – Bill Watterson

Focus on the state of your mind each time you eat.  We all experience bad days – so try extra hard on the off days.  Eat with love, gratitude, and excitement about nourishing your treasured body.

Move Your Body

Physical activity helps us in more ways than just feeling fit.  Being active creates the opportunity for your body to experience balance.  In this balance, you can learn the art of mindfulness on a deeper level.

Be it yoga, pilates, tai chi, Praise Moves or another form of energy centered exercise – you will experience a deeper level of learning how to listen to your body and your inner voice.  Listening to this voice is a powerful tool in mindful eating and mindful living.  

Practice moving your body regularly to aid in mindfulness and to support digestion.  Movement plays a role in “peristalsis,” which is the gentle muscle movement of the intestines.  Learn to listen to your voice, and use it to be mindful in all you do.

Chew Your Food

A great way to reduce digestive distress such as bloating, constipation or sluggishness is to chew your food thoroughly.  This practice also connects mindful eating and assists in appreciating every bite to the fullest extent.

Chew your food well.  Digestion begins in the mouth and chewing each bite completely will make it easier on the job of the stomach and digestive tract.

Chew your food well.  Focus on each flavor, aroma, texture and color.  Chew your food until it is no longer whole.  Enjoy every bite as long as you can.

Forgive Yourself

At times, we all make choices with our meals that we may not be proud of.  It is crucial for you to forgive yourself and move on.  Ditch the mindset that is not serving you.

To help with making the right kind of choices even when faced with stress & anxiety, worry, fear, hormone imbalance or sugar cravings, ask yourself before every meal or snack if what you have prepared or what you’re tempted to grab for will serve to help you reach your goals of optimal health or if it is going to sabatoge your efforts and set you back.  This one really works for me every time.  In everything I do, I ask myself if the action is moving me forward or not – and if it’s not, I ask myself if it’s truly worth it.

Forgive yourself.  Always.

Ask yourself before every meal or snack – will this serve my goal of optimal health?


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