How can I eat more mindfully? -
Binge Eating
Emotional Eating
Functional Nutrition

How can I eat more mindfully?

I feel like I scarf down my meals so quickly! I realize it right after I am done and see the bottom of my bowl.

8 Answers

Phoebe Stewart, L.Ac, MTOM
I am a practitioner of Ancient Healing Arts such as acupuncture and herbalism. My goal is to bring awareness towards a balance-based approach to holistic healing.

Make sure that when you eat, you are focused on eating more than anything else. I like to pick a number (lets say 20) and I try to chew each bite 20 times during my meal. I usually end up filling myself up faster than I usually would.

While your stomach does the hard work of digesting, your body releases enzymes in your saliva that assist in the breakdown of food (such as starches/carbs/sugars). That being said, chewing is a very important part of eating that both prepares your stomach for digestion, and makes the act of digesting much easier.

When you chew your food thoroughly, your body spends less energy on digesting and in turn you may see an increase in energy throughout the day.

Happy eating!

Carrie Weitzel, RDN
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Remove yourself from any distractions by sitting at a table, turning off the TV. You can also put your eating utensil down in between bites. Focus on thoroughly chewing your food and swallowing it before preparing your next bite. A fun activity you can do to practice is taking a snack and as you eat each bite, write down the tastes, textures, smells (any other descriptions) that you are experiencing. Think of it as if you were taste testing a new product.

Alice Diamond/Diamond Fitness

Alice Diamond/Diamond Fitness

Hi I'm back. I really hope you read this because I'd like to know if what I'm about to suggest works for you. I've been suffering from the same thing lately, ever since returning from 7 weeks in Portugal and Morocco where I thoroughly and slowly enjoyed every meal. Ah, vacation. But now back to a more rushed schedule and the stress of real life I seem to have lost that ease around meals. So thank you for the post!

Tonight I tried thinking about each ingredient and where it came from, how it was processed, etc. I realized there were THOUSANDS of hours that went into my plate of pasta primavera- including the hours it took me to shop for the ingredients and prepare the meal. But alas, while fascinating it still didn't really work.

Then I got real. Don't want to shovel your food? Put down the shovel. And use your God-given utensils: your HANDS! Bingo, game changer. My food was already delicious but then it got really delicious. Maybe I even ate a little more, but I enjoyed it SO much more and did eat quite a bit more slowly. It's SO much more sensual and I think sensuality is sorely missing in America - ugh!! There's another benefit: you can't text or type when your hands are covered with parmesan and olive oil!

I hope you try it and let me know if it works. Remember, more than half the world eats with their hands and almost all of antiquity did. So go ahead and PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD!!! :-)

Alice Diamond/Diamond Fitness

Before I do Thai Massage I always prepare with a small prayer as a way of honoring the Thai spirit ancestors and to ground and center my energy. It seems like the same could be done for just about anything. You might like to read about the West African Orisha (deity) of nutrition, Oko. Oko is a healer who uses healthy foods as pre-medicine. He would be a perfect energy to invoke before and during your meals. If that doesn't work, put on a favorite song and see if you can chew for as long as the song lasts. Then put on another one....and another. Haha! Hope that helps!

Kara Short, CPT-NASM
Believe in yourself- You CAN do this. Let me help you take that first step.

“Eat slowly” is one of the biggest game changing habits I work on with my nutrition clients. How do you slow yourself down? Well, putting down your utensil after each bite, watching a clock, making sure you swallow before taking the next bite....all good starts. You may want to give it a try!

Sara Schultz, CPC, ELI-MP, EDIT Certified
At Stillwater, we offer a wide array of healing arts tools and experiences for optimal living.

Working on intuitive eating and mindful eating can be really helpful. The Intuitive Eating Workbook is very helpful... and there's always the option of working with someone who is Intuitive Eating informed in their work :]

Laura B. Folkes
Certified Holistic Health Coach

Because you are noticing it after the fact, do you feel like you're in automatic pilot and are not really thinking about what you're eating? If so, that is a sign there could be something emotional going on leading up to the meal. To help break the cycle of being in automatic pilot, you can try checking in to see if you're feeling any of the following (NAILED):

Once you check in, if you're able to identify what's going on, you can ask yourself, 'what do I really need right now?' Just having the awareness of what's happening can provide a little relief so you can be more present around the food you're eating.

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