3 Mindful Eating Exercises to Practice Conscious Eating

What are mindful eating exercises and why should you practice them? Maybe you’ve experienced mindless snacking on the couch after a long day at work. Or maybe you’ve sat down for a meal, only to get up afterward and realize how uncomfortably full and bloated you are. Maybe you just feel in a rut with your meals and your eating choices. This is where mindful eating exercises come in.

What is mindful eating?

Mindful eating occurs when you are aware and connected to your sensations and emotions while you eat. Practicing mindful eating increases satisfaction and joy with food, as you savor the tastes. It also encourages listening to your body and mind, eating only to satiety, and therefore may help balance weight. You become more aware of the motivations behind your eating patterns, such as emotional eating, and learn how to take charge of your own mind and body.

3 mindful eating exercises

Below are three examples of mindful eating exercises that will help you on your journey to more conscious, mindful eating habits.

1. Meal prep

The first step of mindful eating is to be conscious of the foods you are putting into your body. Higher quality, pesticide free, fresh foods will make you feel much better than processed foods. In addition, the sugars and additives in processed foods have addictive qualities that will encourage more mindless eating. Take the time to meal prep each week, so you have easy access to healthy foods. For example, it is easier to make the decision to eat carrots instead of chips if the carrots are already washed, peeled, and cut!

2. Count your chews

Another easy mindful eating exercise is to count how many times you chew each bite. Many people under-chew, stuffing food into their mouths, eating too fast, and challenging their body’s digestive system. For optimal digestion and savoring of your food, try to chew each bite around 10 times, and try for 10-15 if you are eating meat.

3. Reduce distractions

Instead of having your next meal on the couch in front of the TV, eat it at the table. Have a moment of silence and gratitude as you eat, letting your senses focus on the food you are putting in your body. With less distractions, you will likely become more in tune with when your body is full.

Are you in a rut with your own eating patterns? Have you tried mindful eating exercises before?

Wellness, NutritionPerryn Ford