I am often asked what the quickest way to become a mindful eater is. While I believe that changing your current eating habits into mindful ones takes time, there is a way to get going quickly. To jump-start yourself into mindful eating do the following:
- Designate a specific amount of time you will practice, mindful eating. Could be one meal, one day, one week, one month—you decide.
- Pick a specific spot in your home (and your office, if you eat at work) where you will eat and drink all your meals and snacks for the time period you decided upon.
- Create a beautiful placesetting at your spot. Include a placemat, a nice napkin, real dishes, maybe some flowers or candles. At work, if you can’t do this, use an extra napkin as a placemat and use real utensils, not the plastic ones that pop out of dispensers.
- When it is time to eat (or drink) your meal or snack, go to your designated spot. Lay out your food or beverage. Sit down. Take a long deep breath and then eat (or drink) without distraction. For the time it takes you to finish, do nothing but eat or drink. When you are done, clean up the area so it is ready for you for the next time you need it.
- Repeat this process for the length of your designated time frame.
Continue using these steps until you feel eating this way is natural for you. Then, you can begin to add in the additional elements of mindful eating that I have been teaching you through these blogs.
How might following these suggestions impact your desire to be a mindful eater?