Slow the Fork Down // Mindful Eating

[mindful eating is a yoga mat for your mouth] mindful eating is also yoga — in the sense that eating unites your body and mind’s intention through a moment of eating presence. create an eating mindfulness placemat that you could carry with you like a yoga mat, from table to table, from setting to setting, whether you are eating in or eating out, as a kind of portable eating mindfulness space of your own.

~Pavel Somov, PhD¹

You’re jetting from a work meeting to the gym, then swinging by daycare, then home to make dinner & meal prep, there’s a pile of laundry to be sorted, & finally it’s time for your head to hit the pillow. But before you catch some much needed Zzzz, you’re already mapping out tomorrows errands (just can’t catch a break!). Constantly rushing around nervously makes it difficult to slooooowwww down and be present, especially at meal time. It takes energy and intention to eat in a mindful manner (trust us, it’s worth your while to take a breath & enjoy the things surrounding you). We’ve gathered some info on the science of mindful eating, so read on & get enlightened.

mindful eating 101  //

Here at Wholistic Health YYC, we want to help guide those interested in mindful eating. Mindful eating is essentially a form of mediation — it’s all about bringing our awareness to the present moment, eating consciously, staying more focused during mealtime, living with openness & curious awareness to the food we are fortunate to have before us. Mindfulness can unearth things you’ve never noticed before & make for deeper experiences (what, enjoy our eating experience even MORE? Sign us up!).

the mindful eating cycle  //  

Dr. Michelle May offers a great visual tool to guide mindful eating, known as the “Am I Hungry” Mindful Eating Cycle².

mindful eating cycle

the facts  //  how mindful eating may help you

  • Mindful eating benefits patients with diabetes³, cardiovascular disease4.
  • Studies report decreased stress levels & increased quality of life4.
  • Mindful eating can help with weight management4,5,6.

mindful eating tips  //  eat in the here & now

  • One bite at a time  //  take small bites, chew them thoroughly & finish one bite before moving onto the next.
  • Be chewsy  //  chew each bite 50+ times until it’s liquified in your mouth.
  • Switch hands  //  put your fork or spoon in your non-dominant hand (for more of you, the left hand, except our very own Mia!) for a change. You’ll have to work a little harder on hand-mouth coordination, which will shift you from mindless eating into mindful eating.
  • The full factor  //  mid-meal, assess your fulness level from 0 to 10 — with 0 being famished to 10 being overstuffed. Aim for around a 7.
  • Mind the clock  //  At the start of your meal, perhaps dinner when you have a bit more time, set a timer to 20 minutes at the start of the meal & use the full duration to eat that meal.

learn how to eat mindfully YYC  //  

Do we have you itching to learn more about mindful eating? Join us for a workshop! We’re offering you an opportunity to join us to learn how to practice mindfulness in your daily routine, including moving & eating more mindfully! On Feb 21, 2015, we’re running a Spin+Mindfulness Workshop at the Aloft Hotel Calgary. Check out the WHyyc Spin+Mindfulness Workshop Poster


³ Miller CK, Kristeller JL, Headings A, Nagaraja H, Miser WF. Comparative effectiveness of a mindful eating intervention to a diabetes self-management intervention among adults with type 2 diabetes: a pilot study. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2012;112(11):1835-1842.
4 Daubenmier J, Kristeller J, Hecht FM, et al. Mindfulness intervention for stress eating to reduce cortisol and abdominal fat among overweight and obese women: an exploratory randomized controlled study. J Obes. 2011;2011:651936
5Dalen J, Smith BW, Shelley BM, Sloan AL, Leahigh L, Begay D. Pilot study: Mindful Eating and Living (MEAL): weight, eating behavior, and psychological outcomes associated with a mindfulness-based intervention for people with obesity. Complement Ther Med. 1010; 18(6): 260-264.
Timmerman GM, Brown A. The effect of a mindful restaurant eating intervention on weight management in women. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2012;44(1):22-28.