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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- If distracted by thoughts, conversation, stress, feelings etc. while you are eating, gently bring yourself back to the awareness of the eating experience.
- 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.
- Take your time as you eat. Chew the food thoroughly before swallowing, and enjoy the experience.
- Try to minimize walking, standing, driving, reading, talking, texting, etc. while you eat.
- 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.
- Notice how your degree of hunger lessons as you eat.
- When you no longer feel genuine hunger, stop eating.
- 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