• By Deborah Balzer

Mayo Clinic Minute: Mindfulness while eating

December 6, 2019

It's easy to overeat during the holiday season when there is a constant barrage of cookies and snacks. Consider incorporating mindfulness into what you eat and enjoy every bite of your meal today and every day.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

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Mindless eating can lead to extra calories and extra weight gain. The opposite of that would be mindful eating.

"We want to be mindful when we're eating. So being aware of what we're eating and how much we are eating," says Elizabeth J. Bailey, a Mayo Clinic registered dietitian nutritionist.

For instance, for better eating habits, turn off the TV, and say no to phones and other electronics at the dinner table. 

"It's amazing how turning off the TV can really help somebody be aware of what they're consuming," says Bailey.

It's not just what you eat that matters, but also why. 

"Sometimes it's hard to discern between 'I'm hungry' or 'I'm thirsty,'" she says.

Bailey offers this tip. 

"If you think that you're feeling hungry, have a full glass of water. Then reassess if you feel hungry or not."

Taking a walk can also help if you feel like the sensation of wanting to eat is being triggered or fueled by stress or anxiety

"The mindfulness comes in where you start to be able to distinguish I'm hungry or I'm not, and then that becomes a lifestyle change" says Bailey.

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