Listen to a 3-minute meditation: A guide to mindful eating

It’s important to approach mindful eating without judgment and to quiet distractions so you can focus on your food

An illustration of a hand reaching into a fruit bowl, taking a piece of fruit.
(Marine Buffard for The Washington Post)
2 min

Eating mindfully is a simple pleasure. It means tuning in to your senses to fully experience the sights, smells, sounds, textures and tastes of the foods you eat.

I’ve created this short exercise to help you embrace the joys of mindful eating. You can try it with a piece of fruit, a snack or a full meal. Keep reading for more about mindful eating.

Try this mindful eating meditation

As mindfulness practices go, mindful eating is one of the more enjoyable ways we can stay present in the moment.

It’s important to approach mindful eating without judgment. As human beings, we tend to judge — both other people and ourselves. That self-judgment is often especially harsh and negative when it comes to food.

Sometimes you might feel guilty about what you’re eating. Perhaps you’ve created a story in your mind about how your food choices say something about who you are as a person

There are so many stories we create around food that it can distract us from the experience of eating. We often end up having negative reactions to these stories, and then reactions to these reactions, and before you know it, you may find yourself within a negative stress cycle.

Mindfulness allows us to recognize the stories we may create, then to gently let them go without judgment and bring our full attention and awareness to the activity of eating.

Many of us also have a tendency to multitask while eating. We eat while we work on the computer. We eat while watching television or listening to music.

The invitation here is to just allow yourself to be present with the meal you are consuming. Sit at a table or in a place where you aren’t distracted by your computer, music or even a book, bringing your entire attention to the food you are about to eat.

Kessonga Giscombe is Headspace meditation teacher in Chapel Hill, N.C., where he is an adjunct mindfulness instructor at the UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine. You can find him on instagram @kgiscombe.

Well+Being and Headspace have teamed up to bring you 3-minute meditations for every day. To learn more about our partnership, please read here.

Sign up for the Well+Being newsletter, your source of expert advice and simple tips to help you live well every day

Read more from Well+Being

Well+Being shares news and advice for living well every day. Sign up for our newsletter to get tips directly in your inbox.

Eating like a centenarian can help you live a longer life.

Waking up frequently at night can harm your health. Here are three ways to improve sleep.

The frequency and color of poop can vary. Most of the time, they shouldn’t cause alarm.

You should avoid kava and 9 other risky dietary supplements.

Try these 6 ways to slow memory decline and lower dementia risk