As your appetite begins to normalize after quitting smoking, you may once again experience and appreciate your favorite foods. “Mindful eating” is a technique that draws your attention to the aroma, texture, flavor, spice, and preparation of your meal. Focusing on these qualities can help make food taste better, reduce your risk of over eating, and help you stick to healthier eating habits.
Mindful eating is a simple and therapeutic practice that you can implement during your next meal; all it takes is a bit of preparation and time. When you sit down to eat, turn off of your electronics and focus your attention on the food in front of you. Sit at the table and take a moment to breath calmly and relax. Now, here comes the fun part: close your eyes and take your first bite; acknowledge its taste, texture, and temperature, and really analyze the flavors, spices, and ingredients. Before finishing, ask yourself, “Am I still hungry?”
With this final question, you’ll be able to self-analyze whether your body is really craving nourishment or if you’re hunger is originating from someplace else (stress, boredom, oral fixation). Try practicing some mindful eating this Monday; it’s a whole lot tastier than counting calories.