Experimenting with Mindful Eating

You’ve probably heard of mindful eating before and maybe you’ve tried it out from time-to-time. Today we’re asking you to experiment with another way to practice mindful eating. First, find a food item that your mind has a lot of “good” judgments about- like candy, sweets, or a savory snack. Then find a food item that you typically don’t experience a lot of cravings for- maybe carrots, celery, or some raisins. Try mindful eating with the “good” food item first: notice the descriptions and judgments your mind gives you while you smell, taste, feel, hear, and see the food. Some of those senses we don’t always use while we are eating, but you can find ways to get all 5 involved for this exercise! Notice the descriptions (5 senses observations) and judgments (evaluations about those 5 senses observations) your mind gives before you put the food in your mouth, while you are chewing, and after you have swallowed. Really slow down this experience and see if it’s different from your experience when you are normally enjoying this food. Now, try this same practice of mindful eating with the less appealing food item. Again, pay attention to the difference between descriptions and judgments that your mind gives you. After you have finished those two exercises, reflect on the difference in how you engaged with each food item. Was mindful eating easier or harder for one food compared to the other? Was there a difference in the number of descriptions or judgments your mind made for either food item? Was it hard to tell the difference between descriptions and judgments for one food item compared to the other? Did you spend an equal amount of time mindfully eating both? Keep a diary of this practice and try it again at your next meal. The purpose of mindfully eating in this way is to assist you in separating your descriptions from your judgments so that you can loosen the power that your “judgments” might have on your behavior!