Mindful Eating

Mindfulness is a powerful practice with many benefits. Often it is difficult for some people to take time out from their day to do a mindfulness meditation. Fortunately, mindfulness can be applied to just about every task we must do during the day or night. In this article I will present a mindfulness meditation exercise applied to a task we all do, eating.

Mindful eating can be very helpful for weight loss and weight gain. It can also be helpful for changing your diet, improving your digestive process or even for enjoying food and life more.

Most of the time, when we eat, we just make something quickly or buy something quickly and gobble down our meal while watching TV, speaking with others, texting, surfing the internet, reading or perusing emails, especially during breakfast or lunch. For this mindfulness exercise I will use the example of lunch away from home during a busy day. You can apply this exercise to any meal of course.

To be successful at this mindfulness exercise it is very important to have done some mindfulness practice previously and to be able to access that clear center of yourself that only wants the best for you. If you have not developed that skill yet then I would suggest working with some of my guided meditations; Meditation 1, Meditation 2 and The Pyramid, all available at www.lightunlimitedpublishing.com. This skill is essential for all applications of mindfulness to our everyday activities. I have also posted a free 4 minute Meditative Breathing training video at my YouTube Channel, www.meditation-mindfulness-videos.com.

padova-market4-smLet’s begin.

Your body is signaling that it is hungry. Take a deep, meditative breath, release the breath and let yourself relax as you have learned in previous meditations. It is very important that you feel that nice clear thinking center inside yourself.

Now use your clear thinking mind to pay close attention to your body. Ask yourself what you would really like to eat now. What is your body requesting? Pay very close attention to this process. Is the answer to your question coming from that clear place within you or is it coming from old habits and beliefs? This discerning process is very important. For instance, if the answer you receive is chocolate cake for lunch then the answer you are receiving is probably not from your body and is not in your best self-interest.

Once you have a clear answer to your question imagine yourself eating that meal. How does it feel? Now imagine that you have just finished that meal. How does that feel? Does it feel as though you have given your body what it needed? Do you feel healthier after eating that meal? If the answer is no then re-consider what you are planning to eat for lunch. Apply this mental exercise to anything you are planning to eat.

Now it is time to order your lunch. Use the same process as you did in the practice before. Use your insight and self-awareness to choose your meal.

When it is time to eat. Take a deep meditative breath and relax for a moment. Then look at your meal. Without any judgement. Just look at all aspects of the food. Then take your first bite. Pay close attention to the texture, smell, taste. How does it feel against your tongue and the roof of your mouth? How does it feel going down your throat? Feel it as it enters your digestive system.

Take another deep meditative breath and then take the next bite. Repeat the previously described process with each bite. This process may slow your eating process but it will be beneficial in the long run.

Do this with as many bites as you can as you eat your meal.

Also pay attention to your emotions as you eat. Be sure that you are eating for the benefit of your body and your enjoyment of life.

As you eat, also pay close attention to your body. Take a deep meditative breath and then, on a scale of 1 to 10 where 10 is extremely full, evaluate where you are on this scale. Do this after every 5 bites.

When you reach 7 ask yourself if you really need more food intake. If so, why? Will you be exercising after lunch? Will it be a long time before you have another meal? You should only go to 10 for a good reason.

When you have finished your meal take a deep meditative breath and relax. Continue paying attention to your body and your current environment and continue on with your day.

Now you have completed a mindfulness exercise with multiple benefits.

 

© 2017 Jon Shore

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