28 Feb How to Practice Mindful Eating
Have you ever been so excited to eat a dessert that you rushed through the experience, barely tasting it and then thought, “Wait, I didn’t get to taste this! I want another piece!”? A way to enjoy that first piece of dessert is by learning Mindful Eating.
Mindfulness suggests that before we dig in, we use our powers of observing, describing and focusing on one thing at a time. So what would this actually look like?
Take a moment just to pay attention to the dessert. Try to observe every aspect of it through your eyes. Move the plate around to see every angle. If you are somewhere private, give the dessert a sniff. You might even lick it to see what your tongue notices. If it’s something you can pick up, like a cookie, rub it between your thumb and fingers.
Describe the dessert
Take 10-15 seconds to describe to yourself the colors, shape, smell, texture and other aspects. What makes you excited or curious about the dessert? Is it the color contrast between layers of pie, or the smooth of the chocolate chip next to the rough oatmeal dough of a cookie? If you are able, notice and describe your body’s experience as you do this. Are you feeling excited? Relaxed? Can you tell where you are on the hunger and fullness scale?
Take the first bite
Chew very slowly. Try closing your eyes to taste with less distraction. Notice the flavors as they move from the front to the back of your mouth. If you didn’t know the flavor, would you be able to identify it? Notice the texture against your tongue and between your teeth. Is it crispy? Chewy? Is the dessert smooth or crunchy? Notice the temperature whether it’s cold, room temperature or warm. Swallow. Take another bite and repeat. As you continue eating observe how the last bites compare to the first. Notice if it was satisfying and how your body feels after eating it.
Nice job! You’ve just eaten mindfully! Eating mindfully may seem a little strange at first, but over time you will feel more satisfied, enjoy your food much more and that one piece of dessert will likely be enough in that moment.
We can’t eat mindfully all the time. Sometimes life requires we eat just to get the job done but experiment with Mindful Eating and see if it makes a difference for you.
About Choices Psychotherapy
Choice is the foundation for a change. Choice speaks to the reality that there is not one right answer for all. At Choices Psychotherapy, we are committed to empowering clients and their families to identify options while assisting in creating a personal roadmap toward health and recovery.