mindful eating

5 Tips For Mindful Eating

Many things can affect what we eat and how we eat. With summer approaching, barbeques, vacations, and dinners with friends can make it challenging to maintain our nutrition. Practicing mindfulness when eating can help nourish our bodies and satisfy us. This week on Fox 17, Dr. Egan shares insights on incorporating mindful eating practices and fostering a nourishing relationship with food throughout the summer.

Fact #1

In the simplest terms, mindfulness means deliberately paying attention. It is being fully aware of what is happening inside yourself–in your body, heart, and mind—and outside yourself (i.e., your environment). Most importantly, mindfulness is awareness without judgment and criticism. In our busy lives, it’s easy to overlook that nutrition is about more than just calories—it’s about nourishing our bodies with care. Mindful eating encourages us to slow down, appreciate our meals and bodies, and make choices that satisfy and sustain us.

Fact #2

Let go of criticism and self-judgment. Nutrition looks different for everyone; no one way of eating fits all. To rebuild a healthy relationship with food that listens to your desires and needs, it’s important to have compassion for yourself rather than feeding into negative diet culture and body image influences. When you approach food from a gratefulness perspective, you can fully appreciate the experience of eating and how it nourishes your body. 

Fact #3

Eliminating distractions when eating allows you to be fully present. Our senses prepare our brains to experience satisfying foods. If we are distracted when eating, our brains will not recognize that our bodies have eaten and will continue searching for more food to feel satisfied. Part of mindful eating is intentionally sitting down and soaking in every bite of food. Try using all your senses (sight, smell, taste, touch, and sound) as part of your meal. 

Fact #4

Slow down your eating to enjoy the taste and textures of your foods. Slowing down allows time for your mouth and brain to connect and acknowledge how tasty your food is. You may feel quite satisfied with fewer treats. 

Fact #5

Mindful eating decreases stress. Stress can trigger biological changes that alter eating patterns and fat storage, even without a change in calorie intake. An unhealthy relationship with food often perpetuates a cycle of stress, further damaging the connection between eating habits and well-being. Mindful eating focuses on self-compassion, gratitude, and a calm eating environment. This shift in habit can help reduce stress and improve overall well-being. By understanding your body’s hunger cues and needs, your digestive health will promote a more relaxed state during meals. 

Takeaway tip: 

When you have an event this summer, practice mindful eating. Avoid arriving very hungry to prevent overeating. Slow down and enjoy every moment of the food you love. And remember to be grateful for your meal and your body. 

Watch the full segment here.