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Mindful Eating

November is the beginning of the holiday season. People all over the world celebrate the harvest, the changing of seasons, and religious events with gatherings of family and friends. This time of year also brings a lot of favorite food customs; but, the winter months can also bring unwanted stress, overindulgence, and a focus on others over ourselves. These seasonal stresses can affect health if we are not intentional about how we manage them.

What does the research say?

The term “mindfulness” started showing up in the literature in the mid-1990s, but “mindful eating” has just started gaining momentum in the past 10 years. According to The Center for Mindful Eating1, “Mindfulness is the capacity to bring full attention and awareness to one’s experience, in the moment, without judgment. Mindful Eating brings mindfulness to food choice and the experience of eating.” Mindful eating can be just as important to health as the foods that we choose to eat. Mindful eating can help regulate emotional eating and aid in meal planning with health as the goal.2 

Mindfulness is using all of your senses to experience the present moment. Mindful eating is using all of your senses to experience food and the physical, emotional and social aspects of eating. So, mindful eating is choosing foods that will benefit our health and recognizing how the food we choose is experienced by all of our senses. Challenge yourself to begin practicing mindful eating through the holiday season and you’ll be ready to carry it into the new year for a healthier you.

Strategies to Share

Take a look at the program Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less and their publication 12 Steps to Mindful Eating for a way to easily pass on information to patients, family and friends.


This article was part of the November 2022 e-news FRESH Rx. Subscribe for similar content delivered to your inbox monthly.