The pace of modern life often leaves us eating on the go, or eating on auto-pilot without thinking about what we’re doing. We don’t often sit down and focus on the meal in the moment, which can impact how we respond to our hunger cues. Mindful eating goes beyond calorie counting, and instead emphasises savouring each bite, tuning into hunger cues, and fostering a deeper mind-body connection by engaging all of your senses and being present during meal times. This process allows us to break free from emotional eating, cultivate healthier habits, and foster a positive relationship with food1. Let's shift the focus from mere weight loss to a holistic approach that nourishes both body and mind.
Mindful eating supports weight loss by promoting a conscious and intentional approach to eating, fostering a connection between mind and body2. When we take a mindful approach to eating, we focus more on our hunger and fullness cues which prevents overeating. By paying attention to the sensory experience of eating, we are less likely to consume food impulsively or in response to emotional triggers1. Additionally, having a heightened awareness of eating through being a mindful eater can lead to a greater appreciation for the nutritional value of food, encouraging healthier and more balanced food choices.
Activity: Practicing Mindful Eating
Download our Practicing Mindful Eating Worksheet to incorporate mindful eating into your life 1, 3. Mindful eating helps us to slow down and enjoy our food by paying more attention to the smell, texture, taste and appearance. It also supports digestion, allowing us to feel fuller from smaller portions to support our weight loss journey.
At the beginning, mindful eating may feel silly or too much hassle. Take your time and be compassionate. Just like other mindfulness practices, the focus should be on bringing yourself back to the present moment when you get distracted. Mindful eating will support your weight loss journey by helping you tune into your senses. Our appetite and satiety changes daily, so it’s important to remain flexible and recognise your body will have different requirements each day.
- Nelson JB. Mindful Eating: The Art of Presence While You Eat. Diabetes Spectr. 2017 Aug;30(3):171-174. doi: 10.2337/ds17-0015.
- Fuentes Artiles R et al. Mindful eating and common diet programs lower body weight similarly: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Obes Rev. 2019 Nov;20(11):1619-1627. doi: 10.1111/obr.12918.
- Harvard Health Publishing. (2016). 8 steps to mindful eating. Harvard Health Blog. Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/8-steps-to-mindful-eating
- NHS. (2023). Healthier snacks. NHS. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/healthier-families/food-facts/healthier-snacks/#snack-tips