Food

Eating Mindfully

Written by Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE, FAND

At their first visits, many of my patients and clients come in with a long list of diet rules. They often have a painfully long list of taboo foods and a list of superfoods that they must eat. Many have rigid schedules, eating every three hours or no more than every five hours. They may think that certain foods have to be eaten together or only at certain times. They are worn down by diet plan after diet plan, yet they feel incapable of knowing how to eat without another rigid plan. These people, especially, need to learn to eat more mindfully.

Mindful eating involves noticing the appearance, texture, taste, aroma, and more of food. If you are eating mindfully, you notice how the food makes you feel – both emotionally and physically – but you make no judgments about it. You are aware, but you have no guilt or anxiety. Mindfulness empowers you to break unhealthy habits and develop new, healthier habits. 

This month’s post is both a challenge and a gift. The challenge is from me. Eat one meal mindfully today. Sit without judgment. Notice your food and think about where it came from. Pay attention to the colors, textures, aromas and how the taste changes as you chew and hold it in your mouth. Notice how your hunger changes from the beginning of the meal to the middle to the end. Then think about what you can learn from this. The gift comes from Dr. Susan Albers. With permission, I am publishing her infographic, 10 Habits of Mindful Eaters. I hope you enjoy it and learn from it. You can learn more about mindful eating at Dr. Albers’ website.