Mindful eating gets its roots in Buddhist teachings, but that doesn鈥檛 mean you have to sit and intensely meditate over your food like a nutrition-obsessed yogi. It鈥檚 a practice of consuming meals with a more thoughtful, aware approach of what 鈥 and how much 鈥 you鈥檙e putting into your body, and being better at recognizing your hunger and fullness levels. Summer can be a tough time to stick to a healthy eating plan, especially when there鈥檚 no shortage of BBQs and summer wedding parties to attend. So if you find yourself shoveling in unhealthy snacks without giving it a second thought every time you鈥檙e social, stressed out or just plopping down on the couch with Netflix, here are some tips on how to take a more mindful approach to eating.

Happy young woman eating pizza at restaurant

1. Choose what you eat. If you鈥檙e eating the same thing day in and day out, is it really because that鈥檚 what appeals to you in the moment, or are you stuck in a food rut?

2. Engage your senses. If you can鈥檛 remember the last time you walked past your kitchen and thought 鈥淲ow, that smells delicious鈥 or reflected on the texture of your favorite dish, you鈥檙e missing opportunities to engage more of your senses to truly taste and enjoy every bite of your food more fully.

3. Quit multitasking: Say it with us: No more lunches at your desk! You want to be present and in the moment for meals.

woman eating multitasking

4. Slow down. If you take more time for meals and to savor your food, you鈥檒l have an easier time recognizing when you鈥檙e actually full. Some people even try things like eating exclusively with chopsticks or chewing 25 times to ensure they鈥檙e taking more time to eat. These kinds of tactics can also help with smaller bites that you鈥檒l be able to digest more easily.

5. No TV at the dinner table. Or for any of your meals, for that matter. If you鈥檙e too busy binge-watching, all of a sudden you might find you totally binged on your food too. And to that end鈥

6. Actually eat at a table. No more meals slumped over the coffee table or sitting on the couch. It鈥檚 about being more deliberate and taking the time to formalize your approach to eating and focus on your food.

7. Practice plating. You don鈥檛 have to artfully plate your meals like your leftovers were reheated by a world-class chef, but the simple act of putting your food on a plate, rather than eating out of a bag or Tupperware, will make you more mindful and aware of what you鈥檙e consuming.


8. Get to know your food. If you鈥檙e growing your own veggies or relishing each trip to the farmers鈥 market for locally grown produce and fresh-baked bread, you鈥檒l think more about your food and how you value it. Being in touch with the story behind what you eat is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint too.

9. List the ingredients. While you鈥檙e eating, challenge yourself to see if you can name all of the ingredients in your food. It鈥檚 kind of cheating if you made it yourself, but you鈥檒l still get the mindful benefits from taking the time to really seek out and note specific tastes.

10. Keep it quiet. If you鈥檙e sharing a meal with others, suggest that you keep the conversation at a minimum while you eat. (Hopefully, no one鈥檚 talking with their mouth full, anyway!) And you especially want to stop any conversations about dieting and weight gain in their tracks 鈥 you don鈥檛 need that negativity spoiling your dinner.

What are your secrets to mindful eating? Tweet us @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)