Mindful meals

A recent presentation at the American Psychological Association’s annual meeting underscores the power and important health benefits of mindful or consciously-made food choices. As with more attentive control of momentary personal behavior in other domains, a variety of common mindfulness techniques have been shown in research to greatly improve the quality of our nutritional patterns, reducing unconscious and environmentally-stimulated eating habits. The presenting researchers offered a number of simple tips for healthier and more mindful meals: 1) use of smaller plates and food packages to encourage smaller meals and snacks, 2) intentionally slowed eating and new focus on stopping meals when internally full (rather than when food is externally consumed), 3) actively removing unhealthy foods from our environment that we do not want to eat, thereby requiring a conscious decision to pursue them, and 4) eating meals and snacks away from distractions such as television, increasing our ability to attend to, taste, and enjoy our food. Learn more about the presentation at Combating Mindless Eating and please send us your suggestions for more attentive, choice-based eating.

Photo courtesy of Tam Phonla Mai Ruam

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