Do you devour your food without really tasting it? Do you always have to be doing something while you eat – checking your phone, reading a book, watching TV? If you’re starting to notice a trend, you can turn your eating habits around and start practicing mindful eating with these five tips:

1. Eat slower.

Most people just shovel in their food and don’t take the time to actually chew slowly and “savor the flavor.” Remember, eating is not a race. Slow things down a bit and actually taste what you are eating. Listen to your body when it feels full and stop.

2. Shut off the distractions.

Turn off the TV, cell phones and any other devices. Put away books, magazines or newspapers. Sit down at the kitchen table and enjoy a nice meal with your family. Take time to learn about the people you love and get involved in their lives. Ask them how their day was and what exciting things happened that day. Be together in the present moment while you enjoy a delicious meal. If you can’t do this every night, pick a couple nights a week to start.

3. Think about your food.

Try to get to know your food and the sources it comes from. Where did it grow? Who baked it? Where did it come from and how did it get here? You want to learn about the story behind your food. Once you start to rekindle your relationship with food, then you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for your food. You may want to start shopping at other stores or farmers’ markets.

4. Evaluate your emotions.

Before you open the fridge for a late night snack, examine how you’re feeling. Are you really hungry? Ask yourself if you would eat broccoli right now. If you answer yes, then you’re truly hunger. But if you answer no or hesitate, then chances are you’re feeling something else. Are you nervous? Bored? Angry? Stressed? If so, maybe food isn’t the answer. Maybe you need to do something else like take a bath, write in your journal, watch a funny movie, or meditate.

5. Show gratitude.

No matter what’s going on in your head or life, be grateful for what you have because it could always be worse. Say a silent ‘thank you’ before you dive into your meal. Be grateful for the food before you and that you are able to eat when so many are starving around the world. When you express gratitude, you’re grounding yourself in the present moment, letting all the negative emotions dissolve and not taking anything for granted at this time.

Source: Delicious Obsessions – 5 Helpful Tips to Practice Mindful Eating