How to Be Mindful with Your Next Meal

Nine steps to developing mindful eating skills.

Joshua Resnick/Dollar Photo Club

Eating is such a significant part of our daily lives, yet it’s so easy to disconnect from it. In one moment, our plates are full, and in the next, completely empty. What happened? We hardly tasted or consciously enjoyed even one bite.

We can change this mechanical way of eating by establishing a daily mindful eating practice.

Make the commitment. Set aside a few minutes each day to practice mindful eating. Start with committing to eating one meal or snack mindfully each day—or even one part of a snack or meal—and then increase the amount of time every week or two, until you find you can do this with every meal or snack. If possible, try to choose a time when you can focus your attention, without a lot of distraction such as loud music or interruptions. Mindful eating includes many aspects: awareness of hunger, fullness, taste, and choice. This practice focuses primarily on the taste experience.

Make a simple food choice. It’s helpful to begin a mindful eating practice with a small amount of one type of food that is not a trigger food for overeating (a food that doesn’t stimulate the desire to overeat). For example, a simple food…