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Eating Mindfully

The ancient Buddhist practice of mindfulness is the state of being present in the moment while noticing and accepting all that surrounds you in a nonjudgmental manner. Bariatric surgery patients need to learn to not go through a meal or snack on autopilot but paying attention to every bite they consume. Mindful eating means

  • • Think about your food choices.
  • • Examine why you are eating.
  • • Taste your food with all your senses.
  • • Eat slowly so that a feeling of satiety can be felt.

Distractions can occur when schedules get too busy or grocery shopping has been skipped or the refrigerator is bare. Mindful eating is more achievable when the pantry and refrigerator are organized, healthy food choices are available, and the food environment is conducive to new habits such as the following: [1]

Were you hungry? Yes_No_

Was this a “planned” food? Yes_No_

Was this a highly processed food? Yes_No_

Did this food satisfy you? Yes_No_

What was your emotional feeling when eating?_

The Harvard Health Publications website www.health.harvard .edu/staying-healthy/mindful-eating, can be a resource for further information on mindful eating.

  • [1] Smaller plates and bowls are used for reduced portions. • Food is put away and out of sight (except for ripening fruitand avocados) • Healthy food is at eye level in the cabinet or refrigerator. • Distractions are eliminated when eating. They result in eatingmore and faster—television, computer, cell phone. • “Junk food” and “trigger foods” are kept out of the home. • Use a grocery list and plan ahead. • Keep a food journal or log to access how much processed foodor restaurant eating goes on. An example of a mindful eating log that can be used to help lead tobetter eating habits follows: Time eaten_ Food eaten_
 
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