The Lap-Band® Blog

How to Eat Mindfully


What is the last thing you ate? What have you eaten in the last 12 hours? Now, can you recall the sensation you felt eating the food?

Chances are, if you’re able to recall everything you ate in the last day or so, you certainly can’t recall how you felt when you ate it. Studies show that, while Americans may spend an average of 2.5 hours eating per day, more than half of that time is spent multitasking. While eating, we’re working, driving, watching television, or mindlessly scrolling Instagram. Most of us aren’t fully mindful of what we’re eating. Some studies suggest that these mindless eating patterns can lead to obesity. Mindful eating can be the change you need to set you on the right path for healthy eating.

When practicing mindful eating, you are focusing on the moment. At the same time, you are acknowledging how you’re feeling, what you’re thinking, and how your body is feeling. You can apply this technique to any food you eat by truly paying attention to every bite you take.

Mindful eating goes further than how you feel during the actual act of eating. The act of being fully attentive to your food involves your food at every level—from purchase, to preparation, to plating, to consumption. In fact, it starts with your grocery list. Are you considering the nutritional value of every item you’re written down for purchase? Are you thinking about how it will make you feel once you’ve consumed it? Will you feel good about serving it?

When it comes to the actual act of eating, think about your appetite. If you’re starving, you’ll want to fill up quickly. That doesn’t give you a whole lot of room to eat slowly and think about what you’re consuming. Being hungry—but not ravenous—will help you dish up a healthy portion. Using a smaller plate is helpful, as it tricks the eye into thinking you’re consuming more than you are. Before digging in, take a minute to appreciate the food and express gratitude. As you eat, be sure to take small bites, chew slowly, and set your utensil down in-between bites; you’ll be able to absorb the full flavor. Make sure all your sense are part of the meal: how the food smells, looks, feels, tastes, and even sounds as you chew it.

In combination with a tool like the Lap-Band® System, which promotes satiety, eating mindfully can be a powerful tool in controlling your eating habits.


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