Do you need to eat like this evermore? Nope. Think of it as a practice – something you do regularly, and build like you might build a muscle. Like learning to breathe the yogic way, Mindful Eating has a tendency to expand on its own. So, you’ll find yourself tuning in naturally to more of what you eat – or finding a moment of awakening – whoa, what I am eating or impressive that I can fit all of that in my mouth!
When I teach mindful eating, at Kripalu or another retreat center, I encourage people to begin where they are. So if you don’t currently do this practice, and you take a few mindful bites each day, terrific.
If you find that you are not practicing, chunk it down until it is ridiculously easy. So, can you take one mindful bite each day? How about one mindful bite on your day off? One mindful breath? If you don’t have the 5-10 seconds it takes to take one mindful breath, well…you are indeed a busy person, and there’s hope for you yet! Maybe a little support, like with my Mini-course. Try try again.
What Does the Science Say?
When I wrote my first book, Every Bite Is Divine, there really wasn’t much research explaining the mechanisms by which mindfulness eating meditation or yoga, does what they do. We just knew it worked. Times have changed!
Now, places like Harvard and Yale are summarizing the science of why mindful eating can be helpful for weight management (1). Cecilia Clementi of The Center for Mindful Eating compiled a comprehensive list of references on mindful eating (2) last year, and the science is evolving fast. A recent study by the psych department at Bowling Green did a nice exploration of several Mindful Eating measurement scales, exploring how a group of people with obesity’s positive and negative emotions relating to food differed (3). This type of study helps people like me provide a better assessment and a better menu of therapeutic options to those I serve.
If You Liked This…Check out:
Healthy Mindset: What, Why and How to Develop Yours
6 Benefits of Mindful Eating
Yoga’s East-West Moderation
Let’s Get Coherent
What Has Mindful Eating Done for You?
We all want to know! What keeps you practicing? What’s your biggest challenge? Share your tips and reports!
- Harvard Health Publishing – Harvard Medical School, Mindful eating may help with weight loss; July 6, 2011 https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/mindful-eating-may-help-with-weight-loss
- Clementi, Cecilia – The Center for Mindful Eating; Mindful Eating References, Updated March 2017
- Barnhart WR et al. Mindfulness facets differently relate to self-reported negative and positive emotional eating types in treatment-seeking adults with overweight/obesity. Eat Weight Disord. 2023. doi:10.1007/s40519-023-01578-.9. PMID: 37351755.