7 Tips for Mindful Eating

August 2019

Discover how a mindful approach may be the secret to healthy eating success.

One of the tips for mindful eating is to engage your senses.
Many people think of nutrition and weight loss as just a physical puzzle: do this workout, make these recipes, etc. But there is undeniably a mental component as well—and taking control of it could be the secret to healthy eating success.

Mindful eating is a tactic that encourages intention and awareness in your eating habits to help you stick to your health goals. It can help you eat only what your body wants and needs, while also enjoying your meals a little more in the process. Use these tips for mindful eating to get started:

  1. Engage your senses
  2. Get in touch with your emotions
  3. Make eating a conscious choice
  4. Practice deep breathing
  5. Have regular mealtimes
  6. Avoid distractions
  7. Chew slowly

Keep reading to learn more about these tips for mindful eating.

Engage your senses

The bright colors of a salad, the textures of fresh-baked bread, the explosion of flavor from your favorite herbs and spices, the scent of sauces or soups wafting from the stove, the crunch of a carrot...eating is an experience to awaken all the senses! Taste can still take center stage, but mindfulness can help pull your other senses into focus to help identify and appreciate all these simple pleasures during a meal.

Get in touch with your emotions

There are plenty of reasons people eat, and not all of them have to do with hunger. This tip for mindful eating focuses on recognizing any eating impulses that aren’t hunger-related. For instance, emotional eating can come from boredom, stress, fatigue, or other triggers, which can lead to overeating. Take some time each day to dig into what you’re feeling and experiencing on an emotional level and how that might be affecting your cravings and habits.

Make eating a conscious choice

When you’re equipped to understand your emotions and desires, you can make the mindful eating decision to eat consciously. As you’re staring at the potato chips or cookies, ask yourself, “Am I really hungry right now?” Or is it boredom or stress-snacking? One good test is to drink a glass of water or two before you make a food choice: sometimes the body can confuse hunger and thirst signals, and it gives you a moment to think before devouring an impulsive food choice.

Practice deep breathing

If you are prone to stress-eating, deep breathing can help alleviate anxious feelings so you can embrace a more mindful eating experience. Breathing routines before and during meals also help awaken a state of mindfulness to help you get more time to savor the deliciousness of whatever you’re cooking up.

Have regular mealtimes

On both a physical and mental level, humans tend to like routines. By sticking to regular mealtimes, you’ll be able to set aside certain blocks of time for mindful eating, and you’ll be less prone to succumbing to raging hunger pangs that can lead to weight gain.

Avoid distractions

When people are distracted by the TV, having a working lunch, or scrolling on their phone, they tend to eat more than they need without realizing it. A mindful eating approach eliminates these distractions, so you’re only paying attention to one of two things: the food you’re eating, or the company you’re with. Keeping these in mind as you eat can help curb overeating.

Chew slowly

It’s an old idea, but one of the best tips for mindful eating: slow down your chewing. Your brain takes about 20 minutes to register the chemicals that make you feel full. By chewing slowly, you can better focus on the tastes and textures, and you’ll be less likely to overeat during that gap of time before the satiety signals reach your brain. The goal is to feel comfortable when you leave the table, not stuffed.

These tips for mindful eating can transform your mealtimes into downright meditative experiences and leave you feeling satisfied while sticking to your health goals. Read more about diet and nutrition on our blog.

To schedule an appointment with our doctors, midwives, and women’s health providers, call 920.885.6090 or contact us online.

This is a public forum, by which BDWH provides general information to patients and prospective patients. You should not post any personal or identifying information on this Blog. The information that appears on this Blog does not constitute medical advice and is not a substitute for a consultation with a Healthcare Professional.

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