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Mindful Eating

Have you heard of mindful eating? It is becoming more prevalent and is something many can benefit from. Mindful eating summed up in one phrase could be “being attentive to our feelings and thoughts when we eat”. As adults we eat for many reasons (when we can, what we can afford, what we have time to prepare or purchase, etc.), but we may have been better about eating mindfully when we were younger. Have you noticed babies typically let us know when they are hungry, and often stop eating on their own even if the bottle may not be empty? Kids may ask a parent for something to eat when they feel hungry, or may push away food when they feel full. How often do you really listen to your hunger and fullness cues?

Why should you practice mindful eating? This style of dining provides greater enjoyment of eating, and allows us to eat more appropriate portions of foods without feeling deprived. We tend to gain weight when we stop a diet, as diets are often quite restrictive and leave us hungry for more food. Practicing mindful eating can help guide you to eating smaller portions of more satisfying foods, as well as incorporate more healthful foods along the way. Really evaluating our meal in-depth can help slow down our eating pace, and allow us to eat smaller portions while still feeling our desired “full” or “satisfied” feeling. It does take some time for our tummies to alert our brains that we are full, so slower eating can help shrink portions.

Try out mindful eating with the next meal you can eat at a leisurely pace.

First, pick a relaxing place for you to eat without distractions. No TV, phone, book, computer, etc. You should be focusing your thoughts on each bite you take, take your time while eating, and evaluate your hunger and fullness cues frequently throughout your meal. Challenge yourself to evaluate your meal with all five senses. Below is an example of how you may perceive eating popcorn with all of your senses:

Sight: golden color from the butter, greasy appearing fingertips after touching popcorn

Smell: like a movie theater

Taste: salty and has a rich fatty flavor from the butter

Texture: soft with occasional harder to chew pieces from the kernels

Sound: “crunching” when you bite into kernels

Kaitlin Slone, MS,RD,LDN,CDE

Wake Internal
Wake Gastroenterol
Wake Women's Health
Rx Urgent Care
Wake Research Associate
Wake Sport Medecine

Main Location

3100 Blue Ridge Rd, Suite 100 & 300

Raleigh, NC 27612

Phone: (919) 781-7500

Fax: (919) 645-3054

Monday - Friday: 8:00am - 5:00pm

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North Raleigh

10880 Durant Rd, Suite 100

Raleigh, NC 2.7614

Phone: (919) 781-7500

Fax: (919) 420-6065

Monday - Friday: 8:00am - 5:00pm

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