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Guidelines for Eating Mindfully

21 mindfulness practices for healthy eating habits

“Aware of the suffering caused mindless consumption; I vow to cultivate good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society by practicing mindful eating, drinking, and consuming.”

~ Thich Nhat Hahn

  1. Become aware ~ pay attention to current habits ~ accept them.
  2. Reject the dieting mentalit, no matter what it takes:
    • Discard diets, plans and media hype
    • Challenge the “food police”! There is no right or wrong
  3. Honor your hunger ~ notice what your body truly wants.
  4. Be aware of food cravings ~ and notice the impermanent nature of “wanting” ~ how it ebbs and flows. Write of your experience.
  5. Make peace with food ~ refuse to see it as “the enemy”.
  6. Eat when you are truly hungry ~ allow hunger to happen.
  7. Stop eating when your body is full ~ regardless of any thoughts: I might get hungry later, there is still food on the plate, etc.
  8. Try eating one meal mindfully, in silence. Eat without distraction:
    • No TV
    • No reading
    • No computer work
  9. Eat sitting down and in a calm environment ~ savor and observe the colors and textures of your food.
  10. Eat as if everyone is watching: and be compassionate with yourself at all times.
  11. Eat on a smaller plate ~ and garnish it with a small flower or parsley snip to enhance the appearance of your meal.
  12. Be aware of how your body feels in the hours after eating. Do you feel energetic or tired? Does the balance of nutrients feel right for my body? What can be learned?
  13. Educate yourself about food claims, additives, portions and healthy balancing of fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Use respected and resources and trusted data.
  14. When shopping, read food labels. What is in the food? Understand the “claims” made and become a wise consumer.
  15. Take time to prepare foods ahead of time. Be prepared for a snack attack and time crunches by having healthy foods ready to eat.
  16. Notice your favorite recipes: is it possible to substitute low fat yogurt, olive oil or fruit juice for unhealthy ingredients?
  17. Cope with feelings without eating ~ write, draw, exercise, sing, and dance or create your own choices. Above all: accept your feelings before choosing an outlet for them.
  18. Honor your body, the nourishment and the experience ~ by eating wholesome, healthy and fresh foods and drinking abundant water.
  19. Enjoy the food, the taste, the nourishment and be grateful for everything.
  20. As the body becomes healthier, so must the mind. Replace feelings of self doubt, guilt and shame with an attitude of a healthy self.
  21. Renew your commitment to healthy eating each day and refuse to feel defeated. Remember: where you stumble, there you will find your teacher.

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