Mindful Eating

photocred: www.westernbariatricinstitute.com
photocred: www.westernbariatricinstitute.com


Have you ever sat in front of the television and found that a bowl of ice cream suddenly disappeared into the abyss of melty goodness and all you can think of is pulling open the freezer door for anther smooth and velvety scoop?


A recent article in Today’s Dietitian explains mindful eating concepts as follows.

“Mindful eating is about awareness of internal and external cues that trigger eating.” (1).


The following two Blogs, Chew On This and Know Your Hunger Number can help us to lose weight, feel less anxious about eating, decrease stress eating and hone in on the pleasures of eating well.




Mindful eating is all about being in the present, slowing down, and taking the time to enjoy the meal that is right in front of us.  In doing so we can become aware of all 5 senses- taste, smell, mouth feel, looks and touch.  Savoring a meal at a leisurely pace is one of life’s greatest pleasures, and we lose connection with our food and body if we eat with lots of distractions. Just taking the time to slow down, chew more on each bite and pause in between bites are quick and simple strategies for more satisfying mindful eating.


Slow it down. Experts say that it takes about 15-20 minutes for your stomach to send your brain the message that it’s full, so eating more slowly prevents overeating. Today, eat one meal free of all distractions. Try to eat slowly, enjoying the unique flavors and textures of each bite. If you typically rush through lunch at your desk, go out and enjoy lunch with a co-worker or friend. The moment of choice allow mindful eaters to take time to choose what they are eating. Try This: Set a timer for 20 minutes just for one meal a day.


Chew on this. Chewing foods ad infinitum used to be a form of dieting back in the 1800s called Fletcherism (2). Though this was an extreme form of dieting, today we actually need to make sure we have enough time to chew our food properly! Chewing is where the breakdown of starches begins, and chewing well means you are breaking down the food to be easily digested. Try This: Count your chews . Take small bites and count our chews to be 10 chews per bite times.


Put the fork down. When we eat quickly, we can consume more food (and therefore calories) without realizing it and sacrifice a feeling of satisfaction. Try this: Place your fork down on the table between bites and then pick it up again. This will allow more time to chew, converse, and mindfully eat your meal. You might even notice that you are satisfied with far less food with this added pause.


Focus your senses. Pay attention to the colors, smells, textures, flavors, temperatures, and even the sounds (crunch!) of your food. Try This: Do not eat with the television on. Don’t eat and read. Just focus on the sensory experiences, sitting down to appreciate and enjoy what your meals offers you.




1. Harris, C., (March 2013)  Mindful Eating — Studies Show This Concept Can Help Clients Lose Weight and Better Manage Chronic Disease
,Today’s Dietitian, 
Vol. 15 No. 3 P. 42.

2. Horace Fletcher. Retrieved from Wikipedia website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horace_Fletcher. April 15, 2014.