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5 tips for more mindful eating

Ever found yourself at the bottom of a pint of ice cream, wondering how you got there? Paying attention to how you eat is just as important as what you eat. And becoming more aware of emotions that influence your eating habits can help you make healthier choices. 

Here are five simple but powerful ways to be a more mindful eater:

  1. Multitasking while eating is a common culprit in weight gain. To avoid losing track of how much you’re eating, try putting away your phone or turning off the TV so you can focus on your food.
  2. When eating, try to slow down and take in sensations as you eat. Note the colors on your plate. Breathe in the aromas. Identify textures and flavors as you chew. Listen for crunches, sizzles and slurps.
  3. Dark-dining restaurants offer the unique experience of dining without being able to see your food. The idea is that it enhances all your other senses. You can enjoy a less messy version of this at home by closing your eyes as you savor a mouthful.
  4. If you snack throughout the day, pay attention to the foods you keep nearby. Consider swapping candy or baked goods for fruit and nuts. That way when you notice signs of hunger, you’ll have healthy options within reach.
  5. Try cooking and sharing a meal with someone. Be fully present in the experience of selecting the ingredients, preparing the meal and serving it to your companion. Appreciate the moment. A nourishing meal in good company — what could be better?

Take time to assess your relationship with food. Do you find yourself wanting to eat because you’re stressed, sad or feel like you deserve a reward? Before you eat something, check in with yourself. Wait for signs of hunger, like a rumbling stomach or low energy. Try not to let emotional eating hijack your health.

Need help with creating and sticking with healthy eating habits? The Attain by AetnaSM app helps you with nutrition, mindfulness, and more. No fad diets here. Just tips, tools and points for making healthier and more mindful choices. Download the AttainSM app today in the App Store. Already using the app? Head over to the “Actions” tab in the app and start building healthy habits today.

This material provides a general overview of the topic. Health information is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment by a therapist, physician or other health care professional. Contact a health care professional with any questions or concerns about specific health care needs.