Step 2 is probably my most difficult challenge for mindful eating, slowing down. I tend to try to get everything done quickly – quick cleaning, quick exercising, and yes, quick eating.
Implementing one or several of these tips helps me, and can help you, take your time while eating.
1. Put down the fork. After every couple of bites, or every bite, put down your fork. Place it on your plate or napkin and fully let go. Put your hands in your lap and take a deep breath. Then pick up your fork and take another bite.
2. Eat with your non dominant hand. This is harder than you think and will definitely slow you down when eating! Just be careful not to spill your meal all over the floor.
3. If you are not familiar with using chopsticks, use them! This again will slow you down as you have to take time to get each bite to your mouth.
4. Take small bites. Instead of putting a fourth or half of your meal in your mouth with one bite, cut everything up into smaller bites. This will not only trick your mind into thinking you are eating more food, but it will slow down the meal.
5. Fully chew and swallow your food before taking another bite. As a bonus this also aides greatly in proper digestion of your food.
6. Set an alarm to go off every few minutes. When the alarm goes off, put down your fork and take a minute to just relax and breathe. After a minute of quiet resting, you may begin eating again. (Make sure your alarm is a soothing sound – you don’t want to scare yourself while eating!)
7. Take a drink of water in between every bite. This will also help you stay hydrated!
And remember, watching television or texting is not an appropriate way to slow down your meals. You want to be fully present while you are eating, so for truly mindful eating you need to avoid all distractions.