Make Mindful Food Choices

Mindfulness, based on Buddhism, has become popular as a self-calming method of changing eating behaviors. Mindfulness is a process-oriented rather than outcome-driven behavior.

Mindfulness Eating is asking yourself these questions:

  • What am I eating?
  • When am I eating?
  • Where am I eating?
  • Why am I eating?

Mindful eating is a meditative approach that brings to the forefront your thoughts about what, when, and why to eat. The roots of contemplative, mindful eating date back to Buddhist teachings. Eat all meals at a leisurely pace, in a calm, relaxed environment. Focus on the pleasure of eating delicious, nutrient-rich foods—being aware of what you eat, when, and why you eat. Our focus shifts to being more in tune with ourselves, our surroundings, and our food choices. Mindful eating starts with prayer or gratitude for the meal and considers the food’s textures, smells, and tastes. As a Buddhist is encouraged to expand consciousness by thinking about one’s breathing, one should also be thinking about eating. The goal is to become aware of what we eat and drink, so we choose the right food and do not over-consume. It’s deep eating!

Seriously, when we do not think about food and its effects on us and do not answer the what, when, and why to eat, we consume anything and tend to eat more. Research shows that eating quickly affects our waistline because the chemicals that inform our brain that we are full do take time to reach our neurotransmitters, so slowing down is imperative when it comes to eating. At the same time, mindful eating prevents over-consumption.

Mindful eaters are interested in understanding the origins of one’s food. How was it grown, with or without pesticides, humanely, or injected with toxins? Mindful eating wakes us up to slow down during eating and question why we are craving certain foods and what factors and emotions are involved with overstuffing. Eating should be enjoyable, in which our food choices offer medicinal benefits and not a negative experience.

9 Simple Steps to Mindful Eating:

  1. Unplug electronics and focus on your food when you are eating.
  2. Before eating, take a moment in silence: pray, meditate, or be still.
  3. Try this Mindful Eating once or twice weekly.
  4. Chew your food Slowly.
  5. Monitor how you are feeling.
  6. If you are home, light a candle to create a peaceful environment.
  7. During the meal, ask yourself if you are full or still hungry.
  8. Breathe: Take a few deep breaths before eating.
  9. Be Present during meals; when finished, you should feel at ease and aware.

Making mindful food choices focuses on the moment-to-moment eating experience to introduce nutrient-dense balanced meals. These healthy foods nourish the body and help improve your total wellness for you and your family. Observe how food makes you feel, your sense of taste, and your fullness after eating. Acknowledge one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations when eating. Mindful food choices extend to the process of buying, preparing meals, and serving your food as well as consuming it. When you practice making conscious food choices and mindful eating, you can become attuned to your body, and this is a great gift to share with your family. These choices help to avoid overeating and make it easier to change dietary habits for the better. Making mindful food choices will help you choose the food that promotes better digestion, keep you full, and influence smarter choices about what you eat on a daily basis. It can also help you free yourself from developing unhealthy habits around food and eating.

Let’s break it down into nine easy steps when preparing and enjoying your meals:

1. Begin with your shopping list.

2. Come to the table with an appetite — but not when ravenously hungry.

3. Start with a small portion.

4. Appreciate your food.

5. Bring all your senses to the meal.

6. Take small bites.

7. Chew your food thoroughly and notice what each bite brings.

8. Eat slowly.

9. Enjoy mindful eating and acknowledge that you are worthy of this dedicated time for your total wellness of mind and body.

Making mindful food choices will get you into the habit of reading labels and understanding what you put into your body. You will become cognizant of the amount of protein, carbohydrates, fats, and sugars you consume. 


Mindful Eating: The Art of Presence While You Eat

Nancy Guberti is a Functional Medicine Specialist, Nutritionist, and

Author passionate about empowering others to become their

health advocates. She is the founder of Total Wellness Empowerment

Membership & Podcast, Look and Feel Great Method, and accredited Total Wellness Empowerment Institute. Learn more & be empowered at

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