Seven tips for mindful eating

Published 7:00 pm Tuesday, June 19, 2012

(ARA) – We’ve all done it – donuts on-the-go for breakfast, a burger in between meetings at our desks or pizza on the couch while watching your favorite primetime show. But how often do we take the time to really savor a food from the first bite to the last?

In today’s busy times, it can be hard to slow down at mealtime and practice mindful eating. Growing up, your mother may have reminded you to eat more slowly when you were younger, but mindful eating is more than that. Simply put, mindful eating is deliberately paying attention with all your senses and learning to be aware of your body’s hunger cues. Through mindful eating, you can enjoy a wide range of your favorite foods in moderation without feeling deprived.

“This approach to eating is not a diet; although you may end up eating less as a result,” says Moderation Nation(TM) Good Life Guru(TM), David Grotto, RD. “Instead, it is all about experiencing the pleasure of food and being in tune to when your body is full. Practicing mindful eating means that instead of eating an entire bowl of pasta in just a few minutes, you consciously enjoy all of the smells and savor each bite slowly, eating until you feel full and satisfied.”

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Moderation Nation is a go to source for balanced lifestyle tips and tools to enjoy happiness through well-being as part of your everyday routine, your way. Here are seven simple Moderation Nation tips to help you practice mindful eating for a more balanced diet:

* Serve food from the kitchen counter rather than on the table “family style.” This way you have to make a conscious decision to get up if you want seconds.

* Choose a smaller plate. The size of our plate has grown nearly 25 percent and our average calorie consumption has gone up right along with it, according to a 2007 study published in Environment & Behavior magazine.

* Let a treat, like Hershey(R)’s Kisses(R) Brand Special Dark(R) Chocolate, melt slowly in your mouth.

* Breathe in the aroma of a fragrant dish as it is set in front of you. Your sense of taste is tied to your sense of smell.

* Cut your food into smaller pieces and chew each bite more slowly. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that people who take smaller bites and chew their food longer and end up eating less.

* As you are eating, think about the different ingredients in your food and try to pick out the unique flavors of each one.

* If you are tempted to rush through a meal, put your silverware down in between each bite to remind yourself to savor your food.

For more moderation tips on how to live a balanced lifestyle and achieve happiness through well-being(TM), visit