Learn How to Have Mindful Eating Habits

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How often do you not remember everything you ate in the last couple of hours and how it felt? We eat in the car on the way to work, at the table in front of a computer screen, or on the couch in front of the TV. We eat thoughtlessly and regardless of whether we are hungry or under the influence of emotions. Such mindless eating contributes to weight gain and the development of diseases. You need to retrain your brain to have mindful eating habits.

We will tell you what the meaning of conscious eating is, where to start and how to turn it into a habit.

Learn how to have mindful eating habits today, and in the process, gain a calm mind and positive energy, plus lose weight.

What is mindful eating?

Mindfulness is the complete focus on the present moment, the recognition and acceptance of your feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations. With mindful eating, you monitor the taste of food, listen for satiety cues, and accept rather than judge observed feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. 

The concept of mindful eating includes not only the process of eating but also the choice of products, preparation and serving, as well as the impact on the world around. 

The ideal diet in mindful eating is close to the Mediterranean diet, where the main place is given to fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts and vegetable oils.

The goal of Mindful eating 

The main goal of mindful eating is to be here and now, enjoying food. This is an action that is aimed at the process, not the result. You focus on the pleasant sensations of eating and do not worry about eating junk or excess. Therefore, mindful eating leads to the fact that you eat less, choose healthy foods and appreciate the process of eating, and also realize that you are benefiting your body.

Ultimately, the point of mindful eating is not weight loss, but weight loss is a welcome addition.

You don’t have to be perfect and always choose the right foods or never eat on the go. Just try to feel yourself at the moment more often when you buy groceries in the supermarket, cook and eat. Even a few mindful meals a week help you get to know your body better, adjust to a healthy diet, and avoid overeating.

How to start eating mindfully

You need to fully focus on what you are doing right now – cooking, choosing products or eating. If you start to think about business or reach for the phone, return your attention to food. Start with short periods of 5 minutes and gradually increase the duration. 

  1. Make a shopping list and consider the health benefits of each product you add. This way, you can avoid impulse buying.
  2. Turn on all the senses while you cook, set the table and eat. Pay attention to how different foods look, smell, and feel while grinding and how they sound when cooked.
  3. Listen to the feeling of hunger. Are you eating because you’re really hungry, or you’re bored, or you just think it’s time to eat? Try not to skip meals; otherwise, from severe hunger, instead of enjoying food, you will try to fill your stomach as soon as possible. 
Learn how to have mindful eating habits today, and in the process, gain a calm mind and positive energy, plus lose weight.
  1. Take a few deep breaths and realize the health value of each meal.
  2. Pay attention. Before you start eating, pay attention to the texture, shape, colour and smell of foods. What sensations and feelings do you have?
  3. Observe yourself and pay attention to what position you are sitting in – sit correctly and relax. 
  4. Bite off small pieces so it’s easier to feel the full taste. When chewing food, try to highlight all the flavours and ingredients, especially seasonings.
  5. Focus on how the sensations change. Take your time and stay in the moment. If you feel full, leave the food on your plate.
  6. Chew thoroughly until you feel the essence of the dish. You will be surprised by the new taste sensations.
  7. Express gratitude and think about where the food came from. Careful attention to the origin of food helps to make sustainable choices.
  8. Devote at least five minutes to mindful eating before talking to your friends at the table. 
  9. Continue to eat slowly and talk with your interlocutors, paying full attention to signals of satiety. It takes our brain 20 minutes to process the satiety signal. 

Also, remember how a bag of popcorn quietly disappeared in a movie, and we asked who ate it all? When we are distracted, we do not notice what we have eaten and satiety signals. Therefore, when eating dessert, it is especially important to switch all attention to food in order to enjoy it to the last crumb. 

We have created a helpful mindfulness YouTube video on mindful eating to help you:

How to make mindful eating a habit

Even if you can’t stick to a strict practice, you can learn to avoid eating on autopilot and not ignore your body’s signals. If your stomach is growling, low on energy, or feeling a little dizzy, then you are really hungry and need to eat. Even sitting at your desk, you can consciously drink a cup of tea with a healthy sandwich – take a couple of deep breaths and spend five minutes on yourself without being distracted by the computer. 

The more you do slow down and listen to yourself, the more satisfaction you get from food and better control of your diet and eating habits.

AutopilotMindful eating
Eat while multitasking (driving, working, or on your phone).Set aside time for food and calmly sit down at the table, focusing all your attention on food and your feelings. 
Fill the emotional void with food.Eat only to satisfy your hunger.
Choose fast food or regular food.Choose healthy meals and snacks.
Try to eat as quickly as possible.Eat slowly, savoring every bite.
Ignore satiety signals and eat while there is food.Listen to your body and stop when you feel full. 

Thoughtful kitchen space also promotes conscious and healthy eating. See what is on hand – fruits and vegetables or cookies and sweets? Remember, when there is food, we eat it. Therefore, make sure that the kitchen space contributes to the right choice of products.

5 Reasons to Stop Controlling Your Food and Start Mindful Eating

Additionally, you should Stop Controlling Your Food and Start Mindful Eating because

  1. It helps you to get a break from the daily hustle and bustle, relieving stress and anxiety.
  2. Analyze your behaviour and notice when you eat under the influence of emotions, not hunger. 
  3. You really appreciate the excellent taste, texture and smell of cooked dishes.
  4. Make choices in favour of healthy foods and get rid of bad eating habits.
  5. Improve digestion and eat smaller portions.

Let’s Sum Up

By accustoming yourself to eat in accordance with personal needs; you change your attitude towards yourself and, consequently, your quality of life. Through the habit of mindful eating, you will begin to feel in a new way, and in addition to joy and pleasure, you will find lightness in the body and self-esteem.

If you would like to expand your understanding of mindfulness further an in-depth How to Guide on Mindfulness Meditation.



Hi, I'm Michael. The creator and host of Catch a Sleep, a Blog and Youtube channel making wellness and mindful living content.

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