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If you’ve been hanging around social media sites, you probably have heard of the “Quarantine 15.” A play on the words, the “Freshman 15,” people are joking that all of us will gain 15 pounds while we practice social distancing and follow stay-at-home guidelines. The 15-pound weight gain does NOT have to happen to you!

Even if you choose to bring home all your favorite foods, this period of time can mean more than binge watching TV while binge eating. Instead, enjoy your favorite foods the mindful way, and you could come out of this quarantine happier and slimmer than you went in. Here are 8 easy steps to follow to eat mindfully.

When you prepare to eat something, do the following:

  1. Take a moment and get centered. Breathe. Focus your attention on this eating “event.”
  2. Check in with your hunger and fullness feelings. Note them.
  3. Observe the food you have chosen to eat. Notice what it looks like, feels like, and smells like.
  4. Think about all that it took to get this food to you. The farmers, manufacturers, transportation vehicles, stock clerks, cashiers, etc. Silently thank them for their participation.
  5. Eat your food slowly, paying attention to how it tastes and feels in your mouth. Notice when/if the taste changes
  6. Check in again with your hunger and fullness signals.
  7. Stop when you feel comfortably full.
  8. At the end of the “event,” give yourself credit for the mindful efforts you made.

Practice these often and you will get the hang of it. You don’t have to use them every time you eat, but the more often you use them, the more mindful your eating will become.

Until we “meet” again, stay well and at least 6 feet away from everyone else!

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