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Mindful Eating

Updated: Apr 15, 2023

Shushy Setrakian, MS, RD

The reasons why we eat go beyond just our biological need for fuel. Yet, this can be a reason we are not reaching our health goals.

Applying the practice of mindfulness to eating can help shift that focus to appreciate food. This means truly being present; and there are different ways in which we get distracted, but some common reasons include the presence of others, scarfing down meals due to a time crunch and aimlessly scrolling through social media or the TV.

So why practice mindful eating?

- Your digestion is improved

- You become more aware of hunger cues

- You are fuller for longer

- Binge eating may be reduced

- Emotional eating may decline

- You make better choices with what you consume

Mindfulness should start before any food is even purchased.

What are you going to be cooking for the next few days? Having a plan can cut back on prep time and help you stick to your decisions.

Next, make a grocery list to stick to these ingredients and to also avoid overspending when browsing the grocery aisles.

Another tip is to try shopping when you aren’t already hungry as this can lead to deviating from said grocery list.

Now that you’ve purchased your food – be present while cooking. Take a second to think about the fact that you have the ability and skills to put together a nutritious meal from these ingredients you spent the time to pick out.

When it comes time to eat:

- Cut out distractions - put your phone away, turn off the TV and sit in a pleasant space

- Set aside time to enjoy that meal - 20 minutes is ideal

- Take note of sensory input from your 5 senses – what do you smell? What is the texture? Does the food crunch? What colors are present? What flavors can you taste?

- Enjoy what is in front of you!

Mindful eating takes patience, but the benefits make it worthwhile!

Shushy Setrakian, MS, RD

Instagram @ShushySetrakian

Shushy Setrakian is a Registered Dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition education from Columbia University and over eight years of experience. Using a holistic approach, she is passionate about helping others feel empowered and strong through proper nutrition and exercise.

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