Mindful eating is an evidence-based strategy to maintain or lose weight, as eating mindfully helps us pay attention to what and how much we are eating. Mindful eating strategies include paying attention to our hunger levels (as the Grinch would say, “am I eating because I’m bored?”), eating slowly with awareness of each bite, and noticing the taste, texture, and flavors of each food item.
Eat One Piece at a Time
I am always trying to incorporate more mindful eating practices into my everyday routines. I put all screens away while I am eating (turn TV off, put phone away during lunch, move away from my computer), and put my fork down between bites to slow down my meal. Recently I noticed another way I can eat more mindfully. Taking one piece (or bite) at a time. I know it sounds obvious, but with certain food items I noticed I would take a handful without realizing it. By taking one piece, I can slow down, pay attention to what and how much I am eating, and better enjoy the flavors.
When I would eat popcorn I would grab a few at a time to eat without thinking anything about it. At the bottom of a tortilla chip bag (or bowl), I would take two or three smaller pieces that were broken to eat at once instead of one at a time. I would get a handful of nuts and eat a few at a time and at a recent party there was an M&M bowl and I grabbed two and popped them in, all without thinking twice about it.
I have started to more mindfully eat these “smaller” hand-held items one at a time and with intention. It helps me slow down, enjoy each bite, and be more aware whether or not I am actually hungry or if I am getting full. Overall, slowing down is key for me. I tend to rush through a meal, move on to the next thing. But taking one piece or one bite at a time, putting down my fork, enjoying the company, and paying attention to my hunger levels have all helped me to eat more mindfully. For more mindful eating strategies, download our free PDF, 12 Mindful Eating Strategies, and check out our recent research on mindfulness featured in Consumer Reports.
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