“Mindful eating is about consuming food with more awareness,” said Susan Albers, a psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic author of the new book, “EatQ: Unlock the Weight Loss Power of Emotional Intelligence,” and the books “Eating Mindfully” and “50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food.”
“Eating mindfully,” she said, “prevents ‘autopilot eating,’ such as mindlessly popping food into your mouth while watching TV, eating at mealtimes whether you are hungry or not and consuming comfort foods to ease stress.”
Stop stressful eating and be healthier in the new year by taking the “Mindful Eating Pledge,” five behavioral steps Albers lays out below:
1. Eat mindfully: I will be more aware of each bite.
2. Pace, not race: I will eat slowly and with intention.
3. When I eat, just eat: I will eat without distraction.
4. Calm without calories: I will find true comfort and soothing without food.
5. Eat less, nourish more: I will eat foods that nurture my body.
Setting new year’s resolutions as long-term goals with no guarantees can be more daunting, Albers said, than “process goals” like eating without distraction. “That is something you can take charge of now. It has immediate benefits such as enjoying food more, preventing overeating and feeling overly full,” she said.
“Changing your eating habits is not easy,” she said, “however, doing it with intention and a smart strategy can make it simpler and within reach.”
You can take the pledge and get free Mindful Eating Tools sent by email throughout the year by visiting eatq.com/mindful-eating-pledge.