Tips To Begin A Mindful Eating Practice

Mindful eating is about bringing greater awareness to the whole experience of eating which includes preparing the food, setting the table, eating, drinking, cleaning the table, etc.

  1. As you sit down to eat, take a deep breath or two to center yourself in the moment before you eat. In this way you can prepare yourself for the joy of eating.
  2. Before you take your first bite, take a good look at the food. Notice the colors, textures, shapes, sizes, arrangement of the food on the plate, the smell, etc.
  3. Before eating, assess your degree of hunger in order to decide how much you need to eat. Use a 10 point scale; 1 being starved to the point of feeling faint and weak, to 10 when feeling painfully full and uncomfortable.
  4. If you are hungry consider that you may be hungry for something other than food such as needing something to drink, wanting a walk, exercise, stretching, companionship, a diversion from boredom, stress relief, etc.
  5. If distracted by thoughts, conversation, stress, feelings etc. while you are eating, gently bring yourself back to the awareness of the eating experience.
  6. Mindful eating means to eat with awareness of the eating experience, not judgment or criticism of one’s behavior, thoughts or struggles. Try to let go of such thoughts.
  7. Take your time as you eat. Chew the food thoroughly before swallowing, and enjoy the experience.
  8. Try to minimize walking, standing, driving, reading, talking, texting, etc. while you eat.
  9. You can slow down the eating process by 1) chewing thoroughly, 2) putting down the utensils when chewing, 3) taking a deep breath or two between bites or 4) taking a sip of water between bites.
  10. Notice how your degree of hunger lessons as you eat.
  11. When you no longer feel genuine hunger, stop eating.
  12. Eating with smaller cups and plates can leave you feeling equally satisfied with less food.

To learn more about mindful eating and the Mindful Eating and Stress Management Program, contact:
Dr. Joseph Wieliczko, Clinical Psychologist
133 Franklin Corner Road
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648