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Practice Mindful Eating

Practice Mindful Eating

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Practice Mindful Eating infographic
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Description

Mindful eating is the habit of being in the present moment while eating. It involves being more aware of what you choose to feed yourself, and the times when you do so.

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Possible Benefits

  • May help you change your diet 
  • May help you lose weight 
  • May improve mood 
  • May decrease stress
  • May improve digestion 
  • May decrease anxiety 
  • May improve overall health 
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How to Do It

When you are eating:

  1. Use your senses to explore what you are going to eat, the smells, the color, the taste, the textures. Chew slowly. 
  2. Focus your attention on the present moment. If you get distracted, calmly return and focus on what you are eating. 

When you eat, do not engage in any other activity (unless you are socializing with others).

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Why it works

  • Mindful eating implies the key mindfulness skill, "Participate". It promotes focus on the present experience, thus improving mood and decreasing anxiety.
  • Mindfulness has been shown to be an effective group of techniques for improving mood and quality of life.
  • The practice of this habit is effective in avoiding compulsive eating, for example to reduce anxiety.
  • It helps to recognize the difference between physical hunger and "emotional hunger," which leads people to eat more than they should. Generates greater control over diet.
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Time Commitment

10-30 minutes 

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Suggested Frequency

2 times per week

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Time of Day

Any

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Possible Side Effects

None known.

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Tips

  • Do it when you feel stressed or overwhelmed. 
  • It is useful if you are trying to lose weight. 
  • If you have trouble focusing your attention, try using your non-dominant hand to eat.
  • Practice it with your favorite meal.
  • You can find mindful eating apps which will help you to implement this habit.
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Supporting Studies and Articles

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  1. Mindful eating. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/mindful-eating 
  2. A structured literature review on the role of mindfulness, mindful eating and intuitive eating in changing eating behaviours: effectiveness and associated potential mechanisms. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28718396/ 
  3. Greater mindful eating practice is associated with better reversal learning. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5890263/ 
  4. Examining the Effects of Mindful Eating Training on Adherence to a Carbohydrate-Restricted Diet in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes (the DELISH Study): Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6401674/
  5. Mindful Eating: The Art of Presence While You Eat. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5556586/
  6. Efficacy of a mindful-eating programme to reduce emotional eating in patients suffering from overweight or obesity in primary care settings: a cluster-randomised trial protocol. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6886952/ 
  7. Mindful Eating Mobile Health Apps: Review and Appraisal. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6727629/
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Category

 Mood  Stress  Health  Fitness  Productivity  Focus
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