Practice It: Mindful Eating Exercise

Thursday, November 29, 2012

food on a plate

We often think most of taste when we think about food. But using all five senses to explore how food looks, feels, sounds, smells and tastes can help you to find more to enjoy about the foods you’re eating! Plus, by slowing down to really experience your food, you will be more likely to pay attention to when your body tells you it’s full and less likely to mindlessly munch.

Try this exercise at your next meal.

Steps:

  1. Sit at the table and relax. Take a deep, full breath and exhale completely, so that your mind is calm and you are focusing on the food that you are about to eat.

  2. Look at the food that is on your plate. Consider how the food looks. Take a deep breath in through your nose and really smell the food.

  3. Pick up a bite of food with a spoon or fork and take a closer look—and smell.

  4. Close your eyes and take a bite. Consider the taste, texture, temperature, and sensation in your mouth.

  5. Begin chewing slowly and observe how it feels and tastes to chew this food. How does it sound?

  6. Swallow the food and consider how it feels as you swallow and the food is no longer in your mouth. Is there an aftertaste?

Of course you don’t need to do this for your whole meal or at every meal. Sometimes just the time it takes to pause and appreciate the food you’re about to eat for a single bite is just what you need to slow down from the hustle and bustle of the day. Eat and enjoy!

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