What is mindful eating?
Mindful eating is the practice of being wholly connected to the food you are eating and engaging all your senses in the moment. Luciano Pavarotti famously said, “One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.” Mindful eating helps you do just that!
How to practice it?
Focus on the food. When you sit down to eat, get rid of all distractions. It could be office emails, friends wanting to catch up or the latest episode of your favourite TV show. Whatever it is, pay attention only to your food and what you’re eating. Then, see the size of your bites, the aroma and the colour. By focusing solely on the food, you can truly clear your mind and thus, enjoy mindfulness with your meal.
Try out mindful eating with Evolve’s guided audio, and devote yourself to eating for a bit!
Engage all senses. Use all your senses when you are eating. For example, take in the aroma of the food, notice the temperature of your food, the way it looks, and most importantly the way it tastes. When you’re chewing your food, you can even pay attention to the sounds in your mouth.When you truly engage your senses and immerse yourself into the food, will you appreciate and understand your body’s responses and feelings towards it.
Be grateful. While eating, take a moment to pause and think about the food. Where did it come from? Who all put effort into getting it on your plate? How was it cooked? Think about this and more and appreciate the efforts of all, silently. Take a moment to send gratitude to them for getting this food to you. This gratitude will help send positive energy throughout your body and help you reduce any stress or anxiety you may have been facing before the meal.
Notice your bites. Take small bites, chew thoroughly and notice how it feels while doing so. What is the texture of your food? Is it cooked to your liking? Try to identify and ascertain the ingredients and flavours you are tasting. By doing so, you are truly putting yourself into the moment and getting rid of all other thoughts. It’s mindfulness at its simplest.
Listen to your body. When taking a bite of the food, notice how your body reacts and responds. Is the chewing sensation causing pain or discomfort? How is your stomach reacting? Does your mouth feel dry? Think of such factors when practicing mindful eating and make efforts accordingly. Most importantly, if your body is sending you signals that it’s full and can’t eat more, listen to it. Don’t overeat and appreciate all the food you consume. As a result, you’ll feel happier and be healthier.
Take a look at our checklist on mindful eating and see where you stand!
To summarise, mindful eating is a great way to cultivate mindfulness and to take a break during a busy day in order to reduce any stress or other tensions. If you’re curious about trying this practice, Evolve’s guided audio on mindful eating is the perfect place to start. The Evolve app is now live globally on Android & Apple, click here to try for free!