8 Ways to be Mindful While Eating

In today's fast-paced world, most of us eat in a hurry without truly suggesting our food. You've probably experienced this - consuming something within a few hours and barely remembering what you ate. Shockingly, an average American spends about two-and-a-half hours eating each day, but over half of that time is spent multitasking - working, driving, reading, watching TV, or fiddling with electronic devices. T.H.


Chan school of dr. Lilian Cheung a nutritionist and lecturer at Harvard Public Health warns that with this mindless eating that we consume daily, we are not fully aware of what we are consuming but may be contributing to issues like obesity. 

 To fight this trend, we'll explore simple steps to help us practice mindful eating and enjoy our food more fully. 

T.H.  Chan school of dr. Lilian Cheung a nutritionist and lecturer at Harvard Public Health warns that with this mindless eating that we consume daily, we are not fully aware of what we are consuming but may be contributing to issues like obesity. 

What does mindful eating mean

What is mindful eating, you ask? Well, it's about being fully present in the moment while calmly accepting your feelings, thoughts, and body sensations. It's a bit like mindfulness in general, but it also considers how our food choices affect the world. It's about eating in a way that's healthy for both you and the planet. This idea aligns with the 2015 U.S. Dietary Guidelines, which looked at not only how food impacts health but also its sustainability in terms of growing crops. So, mindful eating is all about understanding the connection between what you eat and the well-being of both yourself and the world.

The idea of mindful eating might bring to mind images of Mediterranean diets filled with fruits, veggies, grains, nuts, and healthy oils. But the cool thing is, you can apply mindful eating to something as indulgent as a cheeseburger and fries. When you pay real attention to what you're eating, you might find yourself having these less often. In a nutshell, mindful eating is all about giving your full focus to your food – from buying and preparing it to serving and eating it. But here's the thing: it might take a bit of adjusting how you approach your meals and snacks.

1. Begin with your shopping list

To embark on the journey of mindful eating, start right at the beginning with your shopping list. Take a moment to consider the health value of each item you plan to add to your list, and then stick to it when you're at the store to avoid those tempting impulse purchases. While shopping, make it a habit to fill most of your cart in the produce section, where you'll find an array of fresh, wholesome foods. Avoid the center aisles, which often house heavily processed items, and steer clear of the alluring chips and candies conveniently placed at the checkout counter. By thoughtfully curating your shopping list, you set the stage for healthier and more mindful eating choices.

2. Eat the rainbow

Turning a simple meal into a mindful experience is easy and fun. Just pay attention to the colors in your recipe. Picture this: a plate of all beige food compared to a plate with a splash of green, a pop of red, and a burst of yellow. The colorful one is so much more exciting, right? Adding vibrant colors to your meals doesn't just make them look good; it also wakes up your senses.

Your eyes get to enjoy the meal as much as your taste buds. Plus, it's a healthy choice. Eating a variety of colors means you're getting a mix of nutrients that your body loves, and it can even help prevent diseases. So, next time you're cooking, take a moment to appreciate how the colorful ingredients not only add flavor but also make your meal a visual treat. Mindfulness is about finding beauty in everyday things, even in the colors of your food.

3. Come to the table with an appetite — but not when ravenously hungry

When it's mealtime, make sure you're hungry, but not starving. If you've skipped a meal and you're super very hungry, you might be in a rush to fill your tummy rather than savoring your food. So, try to find that balance between being ready to eat and not overly hungry. It'll help you appreciate your meal more.

4. Appreciate your food 

Before you dig in, take a moment to pause and think about all the effort that went into getting your meal ready, from the people who prepared it to the ingredients themselves. Feel thankful for the chance to relish this tasty food and for the company you're sharing it with. It's a simple way to show your appreciation and make your mealtime even more enjoyable.

5. Bring all your senses to the meal

Engage all your senses when it comes to your food. From cooking to eating, pay attention to the colors, textures, smells, and even the sounds while you're working with different ingredients. While chewing, try to recognize all the flavors, especially the seasonings. This helps you fully experience your meal.

6. Take small bites

 Eat in small bites. You can savor the flavors better when your mouth isn't stuffed. So, take a pause between each bite by putting down your utensil.

7. Chew thoroughly

Chew your food thoroughly until you can really taste it. It might take 20 to 40 chews for each bite, depending on what you're eating. You'll be amazed at all the delicious flavors that come out when you do this.

8. Eat slowly 

Take your time when you eat. If you've been following the tips we've talked about, you won't be gobbling down your food. Spend at least five minutes mindfully enjoying your meal before you start chatting with your dining companions. This gives you a chance to truly appreciate the flavors and textures of your food, making your meal more satisfying.


In conclusion, mindfulness isn't just a practice for meditation sessions or yoga classes; it can be a part of our everyday routines, even in something as mundane as cooking. By embracing these moments as opportunities to be present, we can integrate mindfulness seamlessly into our lives. It's a reminder that being fully engaged in the here and now isn't reserved for extraordinary situations but can be found in the simplicity and wonder of our daily activities. So, whether we're chopping wood, carrying water, or preparing a meal, we can experience the beauty of the present moment.

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