Mindful Eating

Simple Rules

If there is no judgment in mindfulness, does that mean eat anything we feel like?  That’s up to you.  How’s it going to make you feel when you eat it?  Are you eating it because you’re hungry? Are you eating it to satisfy an emotion or is it to fuel your body? The answer, in this case, is probably no.

Have you ever started out eating something you thought was delicious, and were really enjoying it, then all of a sudden, it was gone.  You don’t know what happened to it.  You got sidetracked and then, it was gone.  You just ate 3/4 of a banana split while watching a movie and don’t even remember it.  That is mindless eating.  You started out okay, but something happened.

Do you have those mornings where everything’s going wrong and you feel the urge to eat?  Not because you’re hungry, you’re looking for the food to fix something for you, make you feel more in control of something. Eating like this is mindless, you’re doing it to find comfort.

Cathy Sykora

Cathy Sykora

Founder, The Health Coach Group

Cathy helps health coaches build and maintain successful businesses that improve the lives of others.

How to Eat Mindfully

It’s not that difficult.  You just need to remember and make an effort.

  1. Ask yourself “am I hungry?” before eating, if not, wait.
  2. Eat at a clean table.
  3. Plan your meals to be healthy and design them to fill your bodies needs.
  4. Don’t eat and watch tv, work on your computer, or read the paper or a book.
  5. Where do you feel hunger? Feel the sensation of hunger.
  6. Pay attention to the act of eating, chew and feel your food, the texture, and the weight. Listen to the sound while you chew. Swallow, and taste the food.
  7. Where and when do you feel satisfied?
  8. Stop eating when you feel full.
  9. How do you feel when you’re finished eating?
  10. Eat foods you enjoy.
  11. Slow down and allow yourself to enjoy and experience your meal.  This will help to digest it too.

Eating can be associated with so much guilt that it’s hard to find a way to get pleasure from eating.  People have become so intent on eating foods they consider healthy that they eat food that does not appeal to them and in fact, find unappealing at best. It’s okay to enjoy your meals.

What are some mindless things you do when eating?  Celebrate and share your mindful eating with us in the comments below.


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  1. Susan Mary Malone

    I am such a believer in this, Cathy. It revolutionizes the way we eat! And, how our food is processed. Although I confess–I still have that bowl of ice cream sometimes. Just now I enjoy every single bite!

  2. Candess M Campbell

    Great information Cathy! Becoming aware of what and how we eat is so helpful. Often when I think I am hungry, I am really thirsty. So many of us are dehydrated and this triggers hunger. After losing a lot of weight, a woman said to me many years ago. “I just got used to enjoying not feeling full.” This is so true, because 10 minutes after eating is when the fullness happens.

  3. Beverley Golden

    I have had a life-long challenge with food, I’m happy to say I am very conscious of what I choose to eat now and am not tempted by the things that previously I would have said ‘yes’ to. Having worked in the gourmet ice cream industry for many years, that was a big love of mine. And to be able to get it free made it so easily accessible.

    Now my biggest issue would be eating too much of something I enjoy. Even if that is just blueberries. I literally am never hungry, so gaging when I am full is not a great marker for me. I also only eat twice a day and have a snack sometime in between those two meals. What amazes me is how many people plan their day around what and when they are going to eat. Something I don’t do. The points about eating consciously are so key to our health and digestion. I have practiced chewing more. Especially harder to digest foods like nuts, but come from a family who ‘inhales’ their food and that is one pattern I would be very wise to change. Thanks for the great reminders in this post, Cathy!

  4. Tamuria

    I have eaten so I didn’t really even notice it and it always made me feel really bad. Everything tastes better when you make careful choices and eat mindfully.

  5. Rachel Lavern

    I am a fairly mindful eater and have learned to eat much slower to savor the flavor and not continuing to it after I am full.

  6. Alene A Geed

    these are some great tips, Cathy. I tend to eat very quickly and am aware this is a horrible habit. I like your idea of feeling the texture, noticing the sounds and the weight while eating. I will put this into practice.

  7. Joyce Hansen

    One of the challenges in working from home is that the refrigerator is so close by. When I’m working on the computer, I notice that when I hit a roadblock it’s natural for me to get up and head to the kitchen. I discovered that if I froze fresh grapes, they made the perfect healthy nibble food rather than the chips I was so fond of. Frozen grapes are perfect for their ice cold taste and juiciness as they melt.


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