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Eating, Mindfully

Updated: Oct 3, 2022

I love food. I can cook up a storm just for myself, or I will take a 45 minutes detour simply because the food is better. When I start practice mindful eating, my food experience has improved tremendously. Not to mention, mindful eating also has been found in various studies to aid weight loss and boost digestion.

According to Dr. Heidi Schreiber-Pan, the clinical director at Chesapeake Mental Health Collaborative, there are six ways to kick start your route to becoming a mindful eater - and they’re easier than you think.

1. Eat with right purpose

Eat when you are hungry or when you are ready to enjoy the culinary art, not when boredom/stress/exhaustion mistaken for hunger that are rooted in something more psychological. Try to find something else that will meeting your emotional needs better if you used to eat for non-hunger related reason.

2. Have a ritual

Have you been to a Chinese tea ceremony that you find the tea tasted much better there than same tea at home? In a series of experiments conducted by Behavioral scientist Michael I. Norton with University of Minnesota marketing professor Kathleen D. Vohs and doctoral candidate Yajin Wang, they found that rituals indeed have the power to make food seem tastier and more valuable. Whether is a prayer or something silly as pick the green M&M first, ritual will help you slow down and give you a right mindset before eating.

3. Put your phone away

And, turn off the TV. No need to say more...

4. Be a food critic

Be a taste tester of the meal in front of you. Take in the visual aspects of your meal, notice how its aroma, temperature, textures, and flavor. Oh, do you know different parts of your tough denote different flavor of same food? Chew 10 times before swallowing your food.

5. "Put your fork down in between mouthfuls

and don't pick your fork or chopstick up until you have finished swallowing your mouthfuls," says Dr. Schreiber-Pan. You will give your digestive system a helping moment too.

6. Connect with your food

Know where your food come from. Give gratitude to the hands along their journey to your plate. It will help you make better choice too.

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