According to the American Heart Association (AHA), being mindful and paying attention to the food you consume could help you eat healthier, with more appreciation and intention.
Learn how to make every meal a practice of awareness from the AHA.
Focus on the Food
Mindfulness has become as buzzworthy as cold pressed coffee. One simple way to eat healthier may be to simply be mindful when eating.1
And guess what, mindful eating doesn’t mean dieting or restrictions. It’s about taking a moment to take it in. There are a lot of methods out there, but we’ve simplified it for you.
Ponder: Before you eat, ask yourself, “Am I really hungry?” Sometimes we think we’re hungry when we’re actually thirsty or bored or stressed.2 Check in, do you need nourishment in the form of food or do you need something else?
Appraise: When your food is in front of you, take a moment. How does it look? How does it smell? Do you really want it? Is it more than you need?
Slow: Slow down, like waaay down. Put your fork down between bites. Really chew your food and taste it. Slowing down helps your brain catch up with your stomach.3
Savor: Really enjoy your food. How does the texture feel in your mouth? What are all the complex flavors you can taste? Take a moment to savor the satisfaction of each bite.
Stop: Stop when you’re full. Sounds so obvious, right? But hey, cleaning your plate isn’t necessary. By noticing when you’re full and stopping, you may avoid unnecessary calories and indigestion.
1Timmerman, G, and Brown, A. The Effect of a Mindful Restaurant Eating Intervention on Weight Management in Women; Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior (2012) Jan; 44(1): 22–28; DOI: 10.1016/j.jneb.2011.03.143
2Born, JM, et al. Acute stress and food-related reward activation in the brain during food choice during eating in the absence of hunger; International Journal of Obesity (2010) 34, 172–181; DOI:10.1038/ijo.2009.221
3Monteiro, MP, and Batterham, RL. The Importance of the Gastrointestinal Tract in Controlling Food Intake and Regulating Energy Balance; Gastroenterology (2017) May; 152(7):1707-1717.e2. DOI: 10.1053/j.gastro.2017.01.053