How to Practice Mindful Eating
The Best Tips for Learning How to Eat More Mindfully
While mindful eating is part of a normal Buddhist practice, the technique of mindful eating has grown in popularity as a weight loss method and a helpful way to maintain weight.
This eating method can be used as a supplement to other dieting techniques, but is even more successful long-term if adopted as an eating lifestyle.
In an interview with Oprah Buddhist master, Thich Nhat Hanh offered this advice about eating more mindfully,
"When we can slow down and really enjoy our food, our life and our health, we take on a much deeper quality."
One of my life goals starting in 2011 was to learn to eat more mindfully and healthfully. What you will find collected here are the resources from many of the leading experts that I discovered in my quest to learn how to stop the mindless eating and munching. By watching the videos and reading the articles you will be able to practice more mindful eating. Also include are tips to curb the mindless eating and tips to help you savor eating.
Learn how to meditate, how to eat being more mindfully, become more mindful with your food choices and be more fully present in the moment. Read on to discover how you can start eating more mindfully starting today.
Orange image modified from Brybs' Orange. Royalty Free Use.
Orange in the Hand
Defining Mindful Eating
According to the Sensagent Dictionary
- Mindful Eating is a set of techniques and philosophies that encourage eating food with one's full attention. Mindful Eating may be considered as an offshoot of the general techniques of Buddhist Mindfulness.
- The specific techniques of Mindful Eating relate to focused concentration on the sensations generated by the physiological and psychological effects of eating.
Image of Orange by Lusi.
Debate - Mindful Eating
Do you think being more mindful when eating can help with weight loss or weight control?
Yes. It is an effective technique.
Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life
Zen Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh and Harvard Nutrition professor Lilian Cheung have written Savor to help people understand how eating mindfully can help to improve your weight and your life.
The book looks at the latest nutritional information with the Buddhist practice of mindfulness to make readers more aware of what and how we eat.
Grab an Orange, a Cutie or a Halo to Get Started
Seven Practices of Mindful Eating
These are the seven practices of mindful eating recommended by Harvard School of Public Health, Lilian Cheung and Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh.
- Honor the food.
- Engage all your senses.
- Be mindful of portion sizes.
- Chew your food.
- Eat slowly.
- Do not skip meals.
- Eat a plant-based diet.
Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life - Video
From Harvard School of Public Health, Lilian Cheung, editorial director of The Nutrition Source website, is the co-author of new book, Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life, written with world-renowned Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh.
In this video, Cheung describes the seven practices of mindful eating.
Feelings, whether of compassion or irritation, should be welcomed, recognized, and treated on an absolutely equal basis; because both are ourselves.
The tangerine I am eating is me. The mustard greens I am planting are me.
I plant with all my heart and mind.— Thich Nhat Hanh
Contemplating an Orange
Sun through a Mandarin Orange by theodore99
Tips to Curb Mindless Eating
This collection of tips have been compiled from the many eating tips presented by John Tesh on his "Intelligence for Your Life Show" and the other authors highlighted on this page.
- Block the smells.
The smell of favorite foods can be a big trigger for many people to start salivating and want to eat what they are smelling.
Eat a mint, chew peppermint gum or a eucalyptus lozenge to help in resisting smells (e.g. baking bread, fried foods).
- Make food and beverages seem bigger.
Choose smaller plates, taller glasses
Trick your mind into thinking you are eating more by serving food on smaller plates.
Drink from tall glasses, to think that you are drinking more. Both of these tricks will help you feel full sooner.
- Limit Variety.
With a variety of food, we feel that we need to try everything, so will overindulge. Pick one main item, not several and fill up on fruits and veggies.
- Simplify flavors.
People will eat more M&M's if they have the choice of many colors rather than just one. Stick to a single item rather than mixing it up. You'll be less likely overindulge.
- Savor foods and beverages.
Learn to enjoy the foods you are eating.
Eating more mindfully allows the body and brain to register that something has been eaten, so helps to cut down on the mindless eating.
- Heat up foods.
Warm and hot foods are more satisfying so people eat less.
Eating warm foods, even warm leftovers will help fill you up faster.
- Eat for at least 20 but no more than 30 minutes.
Too short of a time eating can be as bad as too long. It takes 20 minutes for stomach to register that you have eaten.
A longer time spend eating entices many people to go back for seconds.
- Out of sight, out of mind - Keep food at a distance.
People are more inclined to eat mindlessly if the food is in front of them, rather than further away. Getting up and walking to get the food makes you think about whether you really want to eat.
- Practice portion control for meals.
Serve plates from the kitchen, not the table.
Fill plates where the food is in the kitchen and don't bring the extras to the table. This will help cut down on extra servings.
- Watch out for cold temperatures - you eat more.
In cold weather the body needs more energy to stay warm, so people eat more. Curb overeating by turning up the heat in the winter and down in the summer.
- Dim the lights to slow down eating.
Bright lights make people feel stressed and encourage them to eat faster. Remember the stomach needs about 20 minutes to recognize it is full.
- Save the music for when you are not eating.
People listening to soft music took longer to eat so they ate more calories. Rock music makes you eat faster so people eat more.
When we can slow down and really enjoy our food, our life and our health, we take on a much deeper quality.
I love to sit and eat quietly and enjoy each bite, aware of the presence of my community, aware of all the hard and loving work that has gone into my food.
When I eat in this way, not only am I physically nourished, I am also spiritually nourished.— Thich Nhat Hanh
More Articles with Mindful Eating Tips
- Eat Less, Feel Full: 15 Mindful Eating Tips
Don't ruin your diet by mindlessly overeating. These simple tricks from the book Eating Mindfully can help you eat less food and feel more satiated.
- Mindful Eating: 5 Easy Tips To Get Started
A growing body of research suggests that changing our attitudes and practices around meals and mealtime rituals may be every bit as important as obsessing over what it is we actually put in our mouths.
- Become A More Mindful Eater
The key to eating better is to enjoy what you eat. In fact, new research shows that when you take the time to savor every bite of food that goes in your mouth, you’ll feel less stressed.
Present Moment Wonderful Moment
Present Moment Wonderful Moment includes 52 Inspirational Cards and a Companion Book written by Thich Nhat Hanh.
Included in this book is a section on Mindful Eating. A beautiful book for anyone wanting to be able to focus more on the moment.
More Articles by Thich Nhat Hand on Mindful Eating
- Thich Nhat Hanh - mindful eating, mindful life, weight control, mindfulness, self improvement, nutri
Mindfulness teachings from Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr. Lilian Cheung for healthy eating and a healthy life.
- Q and A with Thich Nhat Hanh - Oprah.com
The best-selling author and spiritual leader explains the importance of mindful eating.
- An Apple Meditation from Thich Nhat Hanh - Oprah.com
This simple meditation from Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh and nutritionist Dr. Lilian Cheung will teach you how to find more joy in your life by savoring what you eat.
- Mindful Eating: Thich Nhat Hanh Discusses Mindful Eating
Mindful Eating: Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hanh discusses mindful eating and how practicing it can improve your peace of mind.
- Mindful Consumption
THE FIFTH PRECEPT: DIET FOR A MINDFUL SOCIETYby Thich Nhat HanhAware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, I vow tocultivate good health, both physical and mental, for myself, myfamily, and my society by practicing mindful eating, drinkin
Healthy Orange by lockstockb.
How to Practice Mindful Eating - Video
Watch this video clip from Howcast. It will help you figure out how in a world of fast food and multi-tasking during meals you can try mindful eating to break this busy cycle and achieve some inner peace.
More Articles on Mindful Eating
- How To Practice Mindful Eating | Better Health | Howcast.com
How To Practice Mindful Eating. Practice mindful eating with these tips on slowing down your meals and paying attention to what you eat.
- Mindful Eating: Four Must-Know Tips for Eating More Mindfully
Throw out your old notions of what you can and cannot eat. Through a process called mindful eating, you can eat what you love, enjoy it completely, and simply eat ...
- How to Master the Art of Mindful Eating | zen habits
When I quit my job in January to focus on blogging full time, there were many changes I was excited about implementing in my lifestyle. With my new schedule I was committed to making a change. No more meals behind the wheel or a screen, I was determi
Mindful Eating Trance - Video
Harvard Hypnosis Instructor Jean Fain shows you how to harness the power of your unconscious mind and gain control of your eating.
The Self-Compassion Diet
In "The Self-Compassion Diet: A Step-by-Step Program to Lose Weight with Loving-Kindness" licensed psychotherapist Jean Fain suggests that "The best way to lose weight and look your best is to stop dieting and start with loving who you are."
She combines four proven weight-loss methods--self-love, mindfulness, self-hypnosis, and group support--to create a unique mind-body approach to weight loss.
When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace and love.— Thich Nhat Hanh
Mindful Eating: Mindful Life - Video Clip
TV interview of Mary Ann Wallace, MD, about her latest book "Mindful Eating: MIndful Life" by KVAL TV in Eugene, Oregon.
Mindful Eating: Mindful Life carries the reader right to the roots of maladaptive eating habits. Designed for the layperson, this book explains in clear and often humorous language how and why we overeat. Exploring the reasons behind why we eat what we do has become Dr. Wallace's forte.
Mindful Eating Mindful Life
Mindful Eating: Mindful Life - Book
Written by Dr. Mary Ann Wallace this book and the accompanying CD draws from conventional medicine and Chinese medicine to teach people how to eat more mindfully.
More on Dr. Mary Ann Wallace
- Mary Ann Wallace MD
Dr. Mary Ann Wallace, a board-certified physician specializing in integrative medicine, is a pioneer in the field of mind-body medicine and holistic healing.
- Mindful Eating-Mindful Life
Dr. Wallace developed an alternative solution in her “Mindful Eating” classes in 2006, offering participants the opportunity to explore more deeply the roots of the compulsive eating that is often the underlying problem. Successful and popular, these
- Living in Harmony Blog
Mary Ann Wallace, M.D. is a licensed physician, board-certified in Internal Medicine. In addition to her medical degree, she holds a master's degree in psychology with an emphasis in holistic health, and a bachelor's degree in nursing.
Mindful Eating Video Tips from Dr. Susan Albers
50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food
A very helpful book from Dr. Susan Albers with a collection of 50 mindfulness skills and practices for relaxing the body in times of stress.
Incorporating some of the 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food will help in ending your dependence on eating as a means of coping with difficult emotions.
Eating Tips for College Students (and the Rest of Us)
Tips for College students to prevent mindless eating from lborel44. These tips are based on the word THINK.
- Take time to enjoy food.
- Have balance in food choices. Fill half of your plate with veggies.
- In control of serving sizes. Limit sizes through small plates, bowls or zip lock bags. When given more food, people are likely to eat more.
- Notice impulses. Watch for mindless eating. Keep snacks and cookies out of reach.
- Knowledge is power.
Mindful Eating 101: A Guide to Healthy Eating in College and Beyond
Dr. Susan Albers uses the principles of mindfulness to help make more mindful food choices to avoid the dreaded "freshman fifteen."
According to the book review the book is designed to "help readers navigate the weight obsessed, diet-crazed, high pressured, fast-food-saturated college environment, establishing patterns of eating that will form the groundwork for a healthier life well beyond college."
Eating Mindfully Workbook
A helpful workbook from Dr. Susan Albers to guide people through the concepts of Mindful eating.
More on Dr. Susan Albers
- Dr. Susan Albers (EatingMindfully.com )
Website for Dr. Susan Albers is a psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic who specializes in relationship and weight issues.
- Eating Mindfully Blog
Welcome to Eat, Drink & Be Mindful! If you found this blog, it is likely that you are interested in mindful eating and healthy living.
More Books on Mindful Eating
More recommended books on Mindful Eating from other expert noted authors.
Meal by Meal Meditations
Perfect for your kindle 365 Daily Meditations for Mindful Eating
More Resources on Mindful Eating
- The Center for Mindful Eating
The purpose of the Center for Mindful Eating is to help professionals and institutions implement principles and practices of Mindful Eating.
- Mindful Eating | Psychology Today
How to really enjoy your meal. By Jan Chozen Bays, M.D....
- Mindful Eating
Mindfulness is simply the moment-by-moment awareness of life. But it's not always so simple. We so easily get caught up in our own thoughts and self-talk that we are scarcely aware of life as it passes us by. This is very true of our eating. We eat m
- Putting an End to Mindless Munching - WSJ.com
Eating mindfully means paying attention to what you eat and stopping just before you're full. Eating just a few mouthfuls, and savoring the experience, can be far more satisfying than eating an entire cake mindlessly.
- Mindless Eating
Website for Dr. Brian Wansink.
Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves
- slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future;
Live the actual moment.
Only this moment is life.— Thich Nhat Hanh
Tea with Orange
Tea with Orange modified from anya-anya's Tea.
Orange Tea for One
Tea for One with porcelain cup, saucer and teapot in Orange and Light Grey.
This Siena Set will allow you to mindfully sip tea.
Orange Teas to Drink Mindfully
My favorite orange teas...
Tangering Orange Zinger Tea
Tazo Wild Orange Tea
Mindfulness helps you go home to the present.
And every time you go there and recognize a condition of happiness that you have, happiness comes.— Thich Nhat Hanh
Afternoon Tea with Oranges
Afternoon Tea by A Girl with Tea.
If we are peaceful,
if we are happy,
we can smile and blossom like a flower,
and everyone in our family, our entire society,
will benefit from our peace.— Thich Nhat Hanh
Orange Lotus by ftibor
I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth.
Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child -- our own two eyes.
All is a miracle.— Thich Nhat Hanh
Baby with Orange
Recognizing the Miracle that is the Curious Eyes of a Child
Baby with Orange by tuareq.
How to Meditate, Even at Your Desk - Video
CNN's Dr. Charles Raison shows you how to escape in the office. All you need is a chair and five minutes for meditation.
Other Resources to Help Improve Mindful Eating
Mints, peppermint gum, eucalyptus scented candles and lotion can help to block the smells that may cause one to start eating.
The Zen clock is a soothing way to set a timer, whether to wake in the morning or perhaps a reminder to get up and exercise.
Have you been inspired to become more mindful when you eat?
Share your thoughts in the comment section below.