Benefits of Mindful Eating

Benefits of Mindful Eating

If you’re like most Americans, you’ve probably eaten a belly-full of food already today! In the past three decades, U.S. adults have gone from eating almost four snacks and meals a day to eating almost five—a 29 percent increase in calories. Well, if you’re full of regrets, chew on this: mindful eating, instead of mindless consumption, can change your waistline and your future.

North Carolina State University researchers presented a study at the European Congress on Obesity examining the impact of mindful eating on weight loss. Over 15 weeks, their participants who engaged in mindful eating (but no set diet plan) lost a bit more than four pounds; the control group lost only two-thirds of a pound.

How does it work? Mindful eating teaches you to savor and appreciate every morsel of food you put in your mouth—and that helps you recognize how you eat. Increased sensitivity to food guides you toward healthier choices.

To learn the technique, practice what the researchers call The Raisin:

  1. Place a raisin in your mouth; don’t chew. Close your eyes. Let the raisin sit on your tongue; taste its flavor; feel the texture, shape and firmness.
  2. Begin to slowly chew. Notice how your tongue, teeth and jaw move as the raisin changes in your mouth.
  3. Swallow slowly, aware of the movement of your throat and tongue. Take a deep breath and open your eyes.

Now try it with a forkful of salad. You’re losing weight while using your head!

Medically reviewed in August 2019.

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