Applications of Mindful Eating for DSME (7,12,20)

Explore areas in which you could initiate a mindful eating approach to food consumption (e.g., during dinner at home).
• Identify a time during the day and location for practicing 10–20 minutes of sitting meditation (e.g., preferably in the morning in a quiet space in a chair or on the floor on a cushion) to focus on the breath. When your attention wanders, bring it back to the breath. Gradually increase the time spent in meditation practice.
• Practice doing mini meditations by focusing on the breath and becoming aware of bodily sensations of hunger and satiety before and during meals and snacks.
• Become aware of eating triggers such as thoughts, feelings, or environmental cues other than true hunger that prompt a desire to eat. Ask: “Am I truly hungry or do I want to eat for another reason?”
• Become aware of how hunger changes during a meal by noticing hunger before the meal and the sensations that occur as the meal progresses.
• Know when to stop eating by paying attention to the taste of a favorite food (e.g., potato chips). Notice when the flavor and enjoyment of the taste itself wanes. Identify when to stop eating.
• Experiment with eating other favorite foods (e.g., nuts or ice cream) mindfully by noticing the initial flavor, sensations during each bite, and when the initial burst of flavor wanes.
• Notice your hunger and fullness 5–10 minutes after completing a meal. Continue to check these sensations during the next 1–3 hours. What insights can be gained?
• Practice eating a meal mindfully at a restaurant. Consider what to order, engage in a mini meditation, assess your level of hunger, determine how much to eat once the meal arrives based on satiety and your enjoyment of the food, and check in regularly with your hunger and fullness as the meal progresses.
• Create a list of alternative coping strategies to use when you are triggered to engage in emotional eating (e.g., reading a book, engaging in a hobby, or calling a friend).
• Self-monitor and record your dietary intake and glucose levels before and 1–2 hours after meals to determine how food affects your postprandial glucose response.