How can you start to eat mindfully when you often don’t even notice you are eating mindlessly? It’s as easy as observing your experience for even one bite. Try using this acronym as an easy way to tune into the moment.
Breathe: I’m a huge proponent of checking in with your breath in all moments of life. You can use your breath as a mode of increasing mindfulness of eating in a couple of ways. First, try breathing while you are chewing! Not only will you be more likely to chew your food for longer, you might also notice slight changes in the taste of the food. There are pathways that connect your mouth to your nose, so you can actually smell the food that is in your mouth! Nerves in the nose can detect chemicals in your food and send signals to your brain about what is present. This makes your sense of smell a huge factor in detecting different flavors. Secondly, try to take a breath between each bite. This will help you slow down the speed of your meal and bring you back into the moment if you have been drifting towards mindless eating.
Investigate: Use your senses to observe the dish in front of you. Notice the different colors and shapes, the subtle or vibrant aroma coming from the plate, bowl, or glass. Listen to the sounds of your chewing. Feel the temperature and texture on your tongue and how it changes with each bite.
Taste: The last of the traditional 5 senses, this is the one we most associate with eating. Notice the balance of tastes present in your meal: is the food sweet, salty, sour, or spicy? Is there an element of earthiness? Can you note a shift in taste as you chew the food? Enzymes in your saliva start to break down carbohydrates, so take special note when you are eating foods like bread or grains.
Experience: Enjoy not only the taste of the food, but the full experience of eating! How does the food affect your thoughts, body, and mood? Do you already feel energized after the very first bite, or does the food make you sleepy? Do you find yourself rushing through or savoring the food you enjoy?
Try it out and let me know what you think! Thanks for reading