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  • Mel Strunk

The Importance of Mindful Eating

We often sit down to a meal and eat so quickly, that we don't even taste the food. How often have you found yourself still hungry or unsatisfied after eating a meal? It happens all the time, and it's usually the same old story. You didn't have a plan, you didn't have a lot of time, you were distracted. These excuses all lead up to the same dilemma of not being mindful during a meal. So what can we do about it? Here are a few tips I've compiled to help you learn to become more mindful during a meal, which will result in feeling more satisfied.

1.) Have what you need in front of you before the meal begins. Constantly getting up during a meal can be very distracting. How you can eat mindfully if you're not giving yourself the space to do so? Think about everything you need before you sit down to eat, put it on the table, sit down, and don't get up unless it's absolutely necessary. This way, you can focus on the meal in front of you and try to relax while eating.

2.) Put away your phone. Don't we all need a good excuse to do that anyway? For 30 minutes, give yourself permission to not feel obligated to answer a text, check social media, or respond to an email. You are not responsible for getting back to someone immediately just because you have a cell phone. Allow yourself to focus on YOU and the food in front of you. Your phone will still be there when the meal is over.

3.) Check in with yourself during the meal. Were you hungry going into it? Pay attention to the way the food tastes. Does it taste as good as you remember it? Is this one of your favorite things to eat, or is it just something you eat because you're used to eating it? Are you eating beyond the point of feeling full? Asking yourself these questions will help you connect with your body and stay connected to the food. When we pay attention to how we feel during a meal, we are on our way to being more mindful and content.

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