Mindful eating: Learning to listen to your body

There are lots of ways to improve your relationship with food, but establishing mindful eating habits is a really important step. Mindful eating is like having a conversation with your body. It helps us learn to hear what our body is telling us about hunger and satisfaction, and become aware of why we’re hungry, too. Our hunger can come from the body, heart, or mind complex, and not all of those areas need food to address the hunger.

To embark on this transformative journey, consider trying the “Vida Mindful Eating Method” outlined below. This method encourages a more conscious and intuitive approach to eating, allowing you to better understand your body’s signals.

It’s all about understanding what kind of nourishment you are craving, and how to give yourself what you need. In Vida’s approach to mindful eating, you can apply this simple approach to help you get in tune with your body and its signals.

1. Serve yourself a delicious, sensible portion

Start by dishing up a meal that’s a perfect mix of flavors and nutrients. No need to go all out, just a reasonable portion will do the trick. Starting with a smaller portion can make enjoying and pacing your meal more attainable. Also, think variety – mix and match different food groups for a balanced plate.

2. Take it slow with the first half

Once your food is on your plate, divide it — mentally or physically — right down the middle. Get comfy and enjoy the first half of your meal, but do it at a leisurely pace. Close your eyes and appreciate the taste, texture, and aroma of your food. The slow approach helps your body catch up with your brain.

3. Time out for water

After enjoying the first half, hit pause for 5 to 10 minutes. Grab a sip of water during this break. It’s a time to chill and let your body process what you’ve already enjoyed.

4. Check in with yourself. How do you feel?

When the pause is over, it’s time to check in with yourself and see how you’re feeling. Are you still hungry or are you content? It’s not just physical hunger we’re talking about — it’s emotional too. Your mindful eating should explore how you’re feeling emotionally and physically.

5. Call it quits if you’re satisfied

Feeling satisfied? Great! Your body’s giving you the green light to wrap up your meal. It’s about tuning into your body’s cues instead of letting portion sizes dictate when to stop eating.

6. Split what’s left in half again

But if hunger still lingers, divide the remaining food in half. Repeating the same approach you took at the beginning of your meal, let yourself (mentally or physically) divide the rest of your food. This way, it becomes about what you’re eating now, and no what you have left.

7. Slow down and savor it

Slowly enjoy the next portion. Take your time with each bite, and really be in the moment.

8. Take another water break

After (or if!) you’ve finished the next half, take another 5-10 minute breather and sip on some water. Pacing yourself is an important part of mindful eating.

9. Fullness check-in: Round two

When the pause is over, give yourself another fullness check. Are you still hungry, or are you content? If hunger’s still knocking, it’s time to repeat the process – split the remaining food, drinking water, and then checking in.

10. Keep going until you’re full and satisfied

Rinse and repeat until you feel full and satisfied. It’s all about letting your body decide when it’s had enough. Your plate size, your portions, or how hungry you felt at the beginning of your meal doesn’t have to dictate that.

Interested in Vida? Download the app today!

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Interested in Vida? Download the app today!

Download Vida Health from the app store on your phone to sign up. You’ll need to select your employer or health as your organization to check your eligibility.

Enter your mobile number and we’ll text you a link to download the app. You’ll need to select your employer or health plan as your organization to check your eligibility.

Take a moment to reflect

What do you notice about eating this way? How does it differ from your usual routine?
Consider how these principles might influence how you approach your mealtimes moving forward.

Smarter portion control

Mindful eating often means you’ll find it easier to manage your portion sizes. By paying attention to your hunger and satisfaction levels, you’ll be less likely to overindulge or consume more than your body needs.

Hunger and satisfaction awareness

This method helps you become more in tune with your body’s cues. You’ll start recognizing real hunger and true satisfaction, reducing those moments of emotional eating or unnecessary snacking.

Food enjoyment upgrade

Savoring each bite and truly experiencing your meal’s flavors and textures will make your meals more enjoyable. It’s a bit like a food appreciation club!

Emotional eating insights

Mindful eating encourages you to think about the emotional side of eating. You might notice when you’re eating out of stress, boredom, or other emotions, which can help you make healthier choices.

Say goodbye to food waste

Eating until you’re content, rather than finishing everything on your plate out of habit, reduces food waste in the end. It’s better for your body, the environment, and your wallet!

So, don’t be shy about giving mindful eating a try. It’s a great way to connect with your body, heart, and mind, making sure each gets what it needs. The Vida Mindful Eating Method is your ticket to a more harmonious and healthier relationship with food. The next time you dig into a meal, remember to serve up a sensible portion, take your time to savor every bite, and tune in to what your body is telling you.