Set your intention.
Mindful eating is eating with intention and attention. Assuming that your intention is to feel great, think of dietary changes as choices you make in order to feel your best both short and long term (rather than some externally applied diet).
Consider what your body needs.
When deciding what to eat, ask three questions: What do I want? What do I need? and What do I have? The question “What do I need?” is all about acknowledging your personal health needs, including medical issues, allergies and reactions, family history, and health goals.
Use nutrition information as a tool, not a weapon.
Nutrition knowledge is helpful for making decisions, but it is not the only criteria for deciding what to eat.
Balance eating for nourishment with eating for enjoyment.
There is room in your diet for foods eaten for pleasure! In fact, regularly including foods you love makes it less likely that you will overeat those foods because you ran out of willpower. While it may seem counter-intuitive, when you are free to eat whatever you want, food loses the power it had over you so you don’t even need willpower! As a result, your choices are likely to be more balanced instead of “all of nothing.”
Don’t miss the lesson.
One of the many benefits of mindful eating is that your awareness helps you make connections between what and how much you eat and how you feel—as well as how you feel and what or how much you eat! This direct feedback is very helpful for making changes in order to feel good – not to be good.
Recognize and address your non-hunger triggers for eating.
When a craving doesn’t come from hunger, eating will never satisfy it. By learning to meet your other needs in more effective ways, you won’t use food for that purpose nearly as often.
Eating is for fueling living.
In our food-abundant, diet- and weight-obsessed culture, eating occupies too much of our time, attention, and energy. Your were born with the instinctive ability to eat enough food to fuel your life. Learning how to get back to that place where you can trust your ability to manage your eating without a bunch of rules gives you a pattern of eating that you can sustain almost effortlessly.