3 Simple Mindful Eating Tips

Mindful Eating Tips

Have you ever downed half a bag of popcorn at the movies before the previews are even over? Or kept reaching for tortilla chips while waiting for your meal at a restaurant, only to find that you’re already stuffed when your food finally arrives?

An occasional indulgence is a normal part of life. But if this type of automatic eating becomes a habit, it can take a toll on your health and your happiness.

Mindful eating is a strategy that helps some people tune into their body’s cues to prevent overeating.

“Mindful eating involves the development of a special kind of awareness that you bring to the table whenever you eat,” says psychologist Susan Albers, PsyD

It’s about being present in the moment, focusing on what you’re eating and noticing when your body is full.

If you’re prone to mindless overeating or zoning out while snacking, here are a few simple tricks to try to bring your attention back.

  1. Go dark. Hunger is strongly affected by visual cues, Dr. Albers says, so try closing your eyes for a second as you take a bite of food. Removing the visual cues can makes it less tempting to eat everything on your plate (or in the bag) and easier to focus on what you’re eating and whether you feel full.
  2. Take matters into your own hands. A mindful approach means you’re focused on the process of eating and not rushing through a snack or meal. Slow down by using your non-dominant hand to eat. “This will help you become more attentive to the process,” Dr. Albers says.
  3. Throw your taste buds a curveball. Does it seem like the first bite of chocolate cake is always the best? There’s a reason for that. “Your taste buds recognize the new sensation and then quickly become used to the taste,” Dr. Albers explains. It can be easy to get caught in a cycle of overeating while unsuccessfully chasing the satisfaction of that first bite. If you’re having trouble walking away from a certain food, try taking a bite of something that’s a different flavor, texture or temperature. Wait a moment, and then go back to the food you’re overeating. Does it taste different? And is that enough to satisfy you?

If you find yourself constantly overeating or unable to control it, there could be an underlying issue involved that needs attention. A therapist, dietitian, nutritionist or physician can help you to get to the bottom of it and work on developing healthier habits.

This article was written by Wellness Team from Cleveland Clinic and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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