How to practice mindful eating

3 min read

How to practice mindful eating
Mindful eating transcends the act of consuming food; it becomes a mindfulness practice that nourishes not only your body but also your soul
In the fast-paced rhythm of modern life, the act of eating has often become a hurried and mindless routine. Mindful eating, rooted in ancient practices, offers a refreshing alternative—an opportunity to reconnect with the sensory experience of nourishing our bodies.
As we navigate the bustling landscape of our daily lives, cultivating a mindful approach to eating becomes not just a practice but a pathway to improved well-being and a deeper connection with our food.

1. Pause and presence

The journey into mindful eating begins with the simple act of pausing. Before diving into your meal, take a moment to cultivate presence. Sit comfortably, take a few deep breaths, and let go of the mental chatter. This pause sets the tone for a mindful eating experience, creating a space where you can fully engage with the nourishment before you.
"By dedicating time to eat, you honour the food on your plate and acknowledge the importance of nourishing your body"
In our fast-paced society, meals are often squeezed into tight schedules, eaten on the go or accompanied by distractions. By dedicating time to eat without multitasking, you honour the food on your plate and acknowledge the importance of nourishing your body.

2. Engage your senses

Woman eating a spoonful of tasty food
Mindful eating invites you to engage all your senses in the culinary experience. As you take that first bite, pay attention to the textures, flavours, and aromas. Explore the visual appeal of your food, appreciating its colours and arrangement. By actively involving your senses, you deepen your connection with the act of eating, transforming it into a multisensory journey.
Consider the symphony of flavours on your plate—the sweet, savoury, bitter and umami notes. Engaging your senses not only enhances the pleasure of eating but also fosters a heightened awareness of the nourishment your body receives.

3. Hydration mindfulness

Amid the focus on food, it's crucial to extend mindfulness to hydration. Drinking water is an integral part of the eating experience. Before, during, and after your meal, take moments to hydrate.
"Be present with the sensation of drinking, savouring the refreshing nature of water"
Be present with the sensation of drinking, savouring the refreshing nature of water. Mindful hydration complements the act of eating, contributing to overall well-being and ensuring that your body is adequately nourished and hydrated.

4. Listen to your body

Two people sharing a meal together
One of the fundamental principles of mindful eating is tuning in to your body's hunger and fullness cues. Rather than adhering to external cues or rigid meal schedules, let your body guide you.
Before eating, check in with your hunger levels. As you eat, pay attention to the signals of fullness. This approach promotes a healthier relationship with food, as you become attuned to your body's natural rhythm and requirements.

5. Minimise distractions

Create a dedicated space for eating, free from electronic devices or work-related materials. This intentional focus on the act of eating enhances your ability to fully engage with your food and the present moment.
"Create a dedicated space for eating, free from electronic devices or work-related materials"
By minimising distractions, you not only savour the sensory experience of eating but also allow your mind to register the signals of satisfaction more effectively.

6. Portion awareness

A slice of cake
Mindful eating involves being aware of portion sizes and honouring your body's true needs. Rather than mindlessly consuming large quantities of food, pay attention to the portion sizes that leave you satisfied. Use visual cues, such as the size of your palm or a closed fist, to gauge appropriate serving sizes.
Portion awareness is not about restriction but about fostering a balanced and attuned relationship with food. It encourages you to savour the quality of your food rather than focusing solely on quantity.

7. Slow down and chew thoroughly

In the rush of daily life, meals can become a hurried affair. Mindful eating encourages you to slow down the pace of your meals and chew your food thoroughly. Aim to chew each bite at least 20 times. This deliberate pace not only allows you to fully appreciate the flavours but also aids digestion.
Chewing thoroughly supports the digestive process by breaking down food into smaller particles, making it easier for your body to absorb nutrients. Additionally, eating slowly provides your brain with the time it needs to register feelings of fullness, preventing overeating. By embracing a more leisurely approach to meals, you invite a sense of tranquillity and mindfulness into your dining experience.
Banner photo: Kampus Production

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