Have you ever wondered how to become a mindful eater?
Eating mindfully sounds simple, but it takes practice for most of us.
For example, if you are used to eating while staring at a screen, or not paying attention to how full you are, it will take time to get into the habit of mindful eating.
This mindful eating challenge will help you practice some key principles.
Anyone can benefit from mindful eating, but I especially recommend it to anyone who has struggled with yo-yo dieting, overeating, emotional eating, binging or an eating disorder.
Mindful eating is for you if you are done with diets and just want to eat more normal! And yes, you can lose weight through mindful eating.
Become a mindful eater in 5 days with this mindful eating challenge.
Below lists the challenges for each of the 5 days. If the challenge is related to eating, do it every time you eat that day.
To truly become a mindful eater, you will want to continue practicing each challenge daily.
Looking for more? At the end of this blog post, you can check out the Become A Mindful Eater in 5 Days Workbook. It includes additional content and daily reflection questions!
Day 1: Eliminate Distractions
In this busy world, we often feel the need to multitask during meals, such as working on the computer while we eat.
With so many screens being a part of our daily life, we may also eat while watching TV or scrolling on our phone. These distractions lead to mindless eating.
Your first challenge is to eat without any screens or other distractions. Do nothing while you are eating except eating.
This is the first step to being mindful.
Day 2: Really Feel It
We eat for more than just hunger. Eating is also very much tied to our emotions. We may eat because we are bored, sad, or depressed.
Check-in with yourself every time before you eat something. Ask yourself how you are feeling, and if it is the reason you are eating.
If it is, there is no judgement for this in mindful eating, it’s simply about knowing why you are eating.
Continue to check in with yourself throughout the meal and when you are finished. Are your emotions different? Are you satisfied? Do you feel better or worse? If you feel worse, consider if this food was the best for both your mind and body.
Read more about emotional eating in the blog post Are You an Emotional Eater? Here’s How to Fix It!
Day 3: Slow Down
Eating slow gives you the time needed to be mindful. It allows you to savor every bite and enjoy a more satisfying meal.
By eating slowly, you also give your body time to signal to your brain that you are full, which allows you to be better at another part of mindful eating – listening to your fullness cues.
For your day 3 challenge, you get two options to choose from.
For every meal you can: Option 1: Chew each bite 5 times or Option 2: Take a 1-minute rest from eating every 5 minutes of your meal.
Read more about the benefits of eating slower in the blog post Use This Strategy to Naturally Eat Less and Lose Weight.
Day 4: Meditate
Your day 4 challenge is to complete a meditation. A mindful eater practices meditation regularly.
Meditation brings mindfulness to all aspects of your life, including eating.
You can find free guided meditations on meditation apps like Headspace and Calm, YouTube, and The Chopra Center.
Day 5: Get to Know Your Stomach
Rate your hunger and fullness before and after every time you eat.
Use a scale of 1 to 10: 1 = starving and weak, 5 = satisfied (neither hungry nor full), 10 = stuffed to the point of feeling sick
Hunger cues help us know if we are eating for hunger or other reasons like boredom or sadness.
Fullness cues are a natural way to regulate how much we eat, but many of us lose touch with this and rarely think about if we are full or not when eating.
Some of us have ignored our fullness to the point that we may not know how to recognize when we are full anymore.
Rating your hunger and fullness will help you become more mindful of what your body is telling you.
If this mindful eating challenge helped you, remember to share it with your friends on social media! You can find me on instagram @nutritioning.life!
To get the most out of this challenge, download the Become A Mindful Eater in 5 Days Workbook. It includes additional content and daily reflection questions!