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An illustration of a woman staring into an open fridge. Text reads: How to practice mindful eating. Get started.

Reviewed 6/14/2024


If your mealtimes tend to be hurried affairs that happen on the go or in front of a screen, you're not alone. There's a better way to enjoy your food, though. It's called mindful eating. This involves slowing down and noticing your thoughts and feelings during a meal.

Why eat mindfully? For one thing, it can help you enjoy your food more. It may also help your health. Mindful eating can improve your digestion, help you feel full after eating less food, and encourage you to make better overall eating choices.

If you want to try mindful eating, consider these tips.

Tune in to your feelings

When you feel like eating, pause a moment before taking a bite. Are you really hungry, or are you actually thirsty, stressed or bored? By reflecting on your feelings, you may identify when you eat for reasons other than hunger.

Ditch dinnertime distractions

Turn off your cellphone, TV and other devices when cooking and eating. Practicing mindfulness is easier without disruptions.

Stop and smell the rosemary

Try to use all your senses to experience your food as you prepare and eat it. For example, pay attention to the colors, textures and aromas. Listen to the pleasing sounds when you slice, chop or sauté different ingredients. Can you almost hear your foods bursting with flavor?

Pause before digging in

Before you pick up your fork, take a moment to appreciate your food. If you have dining companions, pause to appreciate them too.

Put down your fork between bites

This will help you slow down and experience your food. It will also give your brain time to receive your stomach's fullness cues.

While your fork is down, take time to savor each bite, noticing the tastes and textures. Try to isolate the flavors from individual ingredients as you chew. Do you notice sweet or savory? Crunchy or creamy?

Stay mindful after meals

Continue to notice how food makes you feel right after a meal and even hours later. For instance, how do you feel after eating a large or less-than-nutritious meal? Making observations like these can help you learn to make healthier choices around foods.

Be mindful when you can

It may not be realistic to make every meal or bite a mindful one. We all have to eat on the go or in a hurry now and then. But mindful eating doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing practice. Incorporating even a little bit of mindfulness in a meal can help you eat and feel better.


What you eat can affect how you feel.

Try these tips


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