Conscious Eating

By Melonie Dodaro

Do any of these situations sound familiar?

  • You’ve been running around all morning catching up on errands and lose track of time and then remember all you had for breakfast was a cup of coffee. So you grab a muffin, and inhale it as you drive to your next errand. Then you think to yourself this is not the way I want to manage my weight or eating habits.
  • You’re working away at your desk munching on some crackers when suddenly you go to get another one and there aren’t any left…the package is empty.
  • Perhaps you were so mesmerized by a great movie on TV that you simply ate the whole bag of chips and the dip, too!

This would be considered eating unconsciously, mindless eating, not being aware of what you’re putting in your mouth or how much. This is when you say, oh my, I ate the whole thing!

Conscious or mindful eating is being aware, being in the moment, being present with each bite you take and enjoying it! You should eat like they do in France. First you experience the aroma, then the visual, and then the flavor and texture of the food, savoring every morsel as you slowly chew each bite. It takes practice to make it a habit, but you can do it and it will enhance your dining experience!

Here are some helpful tips for mindful eating:

  • It’s best not to do anything else while you’re eating so you can stay focused on your food.
  • It’s always a good idea to sit down and eat rather than hanging over the sink, watching TV, reading or lying in bed, or doing anything that distracts from mindful dining.
  • Great conversation is delightful and always enjoyable while eating; make a conscious choice to enjoy your food and the company, too.
  • A good idea before eating is to take a deep breath and be present in the moment to appreciate and be grateful for all the time and energy it took to bring this food to your table.
  • Savor each mouthful, perhaps even putting down your fork between bites to bring your awareness back to the moment and really enjoy the food you’re eating.
  • It’s good practice to pause every so often and check in on how you are feeling. It’s said that your mind takes a longer to register if you are full; this takes up to 20 minutes, so slow down and sit for a bit before going for seconds if at all.
  • Leaving food on your plate is okay; you don’t have to eat it all if you’re not hungry.

Remember your mind has control over your body and will let you know what type of diet you will eat and how much food you will put in your mouth. It is all under your control. Changing old eating habits will take practice and time, but remember you get to choose the way you manage your life, diet and weight. Bon appétit!

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About the Author

Melonie Dodaro is a weight loss expert, author and speaker. Her approach to weight loss incorporates showing people how to master their mind-body connection for lasting results. To learn more tips and techniques like the ones included in this article please click here:

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