• Mindful Eating

    If you have picked up a pound or two during this period of quarantine or social isolation, you are not alone!  Boredom, stress, and multitasking can all lead to overeating.  Here’s a concept that may help: Mindful Eating.

    Mindful eating is the practice of giving your full attention to each bite of food without distractions or judgements.  Think of mindful eating like the experience of trying something amazing for the first time–the delicious flavors grab your attention and the world seems to pause as you savor the flavor for as long as possible.  Mindful eating helps you slow down and pay attention to what eating food is actually like for you.  When you notice more sensations and feelings as you eat, you can prevent emotional eating or overeating by recognizing when you feel hungry or satisfied.

    Try It Now

    Grab your favorite snack.  Now, look at the snack in your hand and think about all the time and care involved in making this snack. Try to see all of the details of how the snack looks including shapes, colors, and patterns. Pay attention to how the snack smells and what thoughts or memories that smell brings up for you. Next, take a bite of the snack and, without chewing, notice how it feels and tastes in your mouth. Notice the textures of the snack and what parts of your mouth taste the flavors. Take note of any thoughts or feelings that pop up as you do this. Return your focus to the food and take note of how the flavors and textures change as you begin to chew. When you are ready, you can swallow the snack and try to follow its movement down for as long as you can. Once you finished, pause to think about what that experience was like for you and how that felt. You can repeat this practice for as many bites as you’d like and can even do this during your meals. 

    What did you think?  Use mindful eating to practice being aware of your emotions before, during, and after eating. If you begin to notice a pattern of turning to food for comfort or relaxation, practice finding comfort and relief in other ways like taking deep breaths, going for a walk, cuddling with a pet, taking small breaks, talking to a trusted person, or listening to music.

    -by Jennifer Waldo