Tuesday, September 22, 2009


There are three beginning steps to mindful eating. Each part is important and combined together can help you to be the best mindful eater you can be. Mindful eating is a process. Keep working at it!

1. Tuning in to the physical characteristics of food. Make each bite a mindful bite. Think of
your mouth as being like a magnifying glass, zooming in. Imagine that each bite is magnified 100 percent.
Pay close attention to all your senses. Use your tongue to feel the texture. Gauge the temperature. Take a
whiff of the aroma. Ask yourself, “How does it really taste? What does it feel like in my mouth? Is this
something I really want? Does it satisfy my taste buds? Is my mind truly present when I take a bite so that I
experience it fully?”

2. Tuning in to repetitive habits and the process of eating. Notice how you eat. Fast?
Slow? In private? Never put your fork down between bites? Are you stuck in any mindless habits?—
eating a snack at the same time each day, multitask while you eat, or eat the same foods over and over again.
Ask yourself, Is there something I do over and over again that lends itself to mindless eating? Do I have any ingrained habits concerning how I snack? When I pick up my fork, what stands in the way of my feeling in charge of my eating?

3. Tuning in to mindless eating triggers. Be keenly aware of specific cues that prompt you to start and stop eating. Is your kitchen a hot spot for snacking? Does a hard day (or other feelings, such as stress, discomfort, or boredom) lead to a food binge? Or, do judgmental thoughts like “I’m an idiot!” trigger mindless eating? Become an expert on the emotional buttons that trigger you to eat when you aren’t physically hungry. When you know your triggers, you can anticipate them before they happen and do some troubleshooting. Ask yourself, “What am I feeling right before I mindlessly snack? Is my environment, emotional state, or dining companion helping or hurting my efforts to eat healthier?

Dr. Susan Albers 2008 © www.eatingmindfully.com

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