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Monday Mindfulness: How to Slow Down and Enjoy Your Food More

A woman with long hair is sitting at a table, holding a bowl of salad. She is thinking about various foods like lettuce, cucumbers, and carrots. The text "FOOD for THOUGHT" is written to the left of her. A logo at the bottom left reads "stop, breathe & think. MyFitnessPal Blog
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Welcome back to Monday Mindfulness, brought to you by Stop, Breathe & Think.

Going into a new week is tough. We believe the best way to start it off right is with a little peace of mind. Here’s one quick and simple way to establish emotional wellness, every day.

When life gets hectic, it can be a struggle to make time for things that can improve our well-being, like meditation. Incorporating mindfulness into everyday activities can really help, so why not take the opportunity to slip in a little mindfulness while eating your next meal? This is especially important as we approach the busy, feast-filled holiday season.

When we slow down and bring our full attention to the act of eating, we can lower calorie intake, improve our mood and feel a greater sense of enjoyment of the foods we eat.

While it’s tempting to rush through a meal while doing something else, like driving or working at your desk, research has shown that eating on autopilot causes us to consume more calories and make poor food decisions. So the next time you’re about to eat while texting or looking at your phone, try eating mindfully instead by following these 10 easy steps:

1. Take a few deep breaths before you dig in.

2. Now take a moment to observe what you’re about to consume. Maybe it’s a sandwich or a salad — try to notice everything about the food you’re about to put in your body. Describe it silently to yourself.

3. Before putting the food into your mouth, move it up to your nose. Notice any aromas or scents.

4. Now lower the food to your lips. Notice how your hand and arm know exactly where to position it. Notice how the food feels in your hand or on your fork.

5. Take a bite, but don’t chew. Just let the food rest on your tongue.

6. Notice any thoughts, feelings or sensations as you let the food sit in your mouth for a moment.

7. Now begin to chew your food. Notice the texture of the food and how it changes as you chew.

8. As you continue to chew, notice any tastes or sensations in your mouth.

9. When you feel ready to swallow the food, see if you can feel what’s left of the food as it travels through your body and into your stomach.

10. Continue to eat in this way, and notice how your body feels as a whole when you’re done.

If you’d like to follow a guided audio track, try this six-minute mindful eating exercise by Stop, Breathe & Think, or download the app to access the track anytime, anywhere. Bon appétit!

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