The Science Behind Mindful Eating: What Happens to Your Body During a Mindful Meal

by | Oct 27, 2015

For those who haven’t heard, I’m currently on a 10 day silent meditation retreat in California.

Yes, completely silent. No computers, no cell phones, no talking, not even any books.

10 Days! Crazy, I know.

The reason I’m subjecting myself to this strange form of amputation is so that I can experience what it’s like to have the internal chatter in my mind stop completely, and just be present in the current moment.

Few things have benefit my life as much as meditation and mindful practice.

Mindfulness helps me focus and work more efficiently.

It helps me be more aware of my emotions so I can be more honest and compassionate with others.

It helps me feel gratitude for both the simpleness and complexities of life.

It even helps me sleep.

Mindfulness has also had a tremendous impact on my eating habits. I used to eat incredibly fast (“efficiently” was what I told myself), and I didn’t think there was anything wrong with it.

Then I started noticing all the scientific research about the importance of eating slowly and mindfully and decided to give it a try.

Mindful eating was a difficult habit to develop, but the benefits have been remarkable.

The stomach aches that plagued me most of my life virtually disappeared.

I learned the pleasures of eating slowly and completely chewing my food.

I’m able to linger longer at the table and savor the food and company.

It’s far easier to eat reasonable portion sizes.

To celebrate mindfulness this week I partnered with my friends over at NordicTrack to create this infographic describing why and how to practice mindful eating.

I hope you enjoy it, and feel free to share.

The-Science-Behind-Mindful-Eating

Joint infographic created in partnership with Summer Tomato and NordicTrack.

To hear more about my experience on my silent retreat be sure to subscribe to the Summer Tomato newsletter.

Have you tried to practice mindful eating? What has been your experience?

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16 Responses to “The Science Behind Mindful Eating: What Happens to Your Body During a Mindful Meal”

  1. Loved this! Very interesting!!!

    Alina
    [link removed]

  2. Nicole says:

    This is part of my life that I really struggle with and I recognize that I have a lot of changes to make! I am a life-long shoveler of food. My father was in the Army and shovels as well. A typically meal consists of silence face down towards my plate and heaving the food into my mouth in between checking my smart phone. This article has given me a few ideas on how to change my over eating habit. I’m going to share this with my fiance. Thank you for the advice!

  3. Joseph says:

    When I remember to do this, it makes the biggest impact by far on the amount I eat & my health. The tough part for me so far is just developing that habit of mindfulness while eating.

  4. Dade Dyana says:

    Hi Darya,
    I hope you are enjoying your retreat! I’ve always heard the benefits of eating slowly for your stomach and metabolism, but I’ve never realized the benefits for your mind. I realize one of my biggest worries during dinner is thinking about the clean-up after. Would you suggest I try to clean up before sitting down at the table to get the complete experience?

    • Darya Rose says:

      I get through about 80% of the cleaning while cooking, which certainly helps. Still even if you can’t do this, worrying has never gotten any dishes clean at my house. Maybe try and relax about it?

  5. Karen B. says:

    I know this has nothing to do with this post but I’m interested in “the internal chatter in my mind stop completely” and wonder if that happens on a silent retreat or if it starts YELLING (what I suspect). Can’t wait to read about it!

  6. This sounds like something I definitely need to try. I’ve always been a terribly fast eater.

  7. Thanks for the tips on how to eat mindfully.

  8. Cathy says:

    I love this. I did a super short silent retreat of 6 hours where we ate mindfully and I can still remember the meal in vivid detail—the crunch of the bean sprouts, the warmth of the tea, and even the feel of the cup in my hands. I’d love to be able slow down enough to eat like that on a regular basis and these tips will help. Can’t wait to hear more about your retreat!

  9. AJ says:

    Thank you for this, it’s great!

  10. Angel says:

    Fantastic. A version of the infographic easy to print will be appreciated. Thanks.

  11. Elise says:

    This is fantastic! Thank you. I’ve been looking for something that conveys the benefits of mindful eating in such a clear way- this is perfect! I’ll be sharing this will all of my clients. I’m so happy I found your blog. Keep up the great work xx

  12. Jon says:

    Is it possible to get a post about your experience on the meditation retreat?

  13. Roxanne says:

    Great infographic and tips shared in here! I had to agree that developing a mindful eating is extremely difficult. I first struggle with chewing my food more and eating slowly, when all I ever wanted was to shove foods down my throat until I am full. But ever since I practiced mindful eating, I became to love and enjoy eating food. I became aware of the minute details like savoring the taste of the food and it tremendously helps me in losing weight :)

  14. Desmet Lettice says:

    WOW! Some of the benefits are remarkable. It’s a total diffrent way of eating I am used to. I am a lot on the road for my job so I can’t always take time to eat mindfully. I think it’s a way of eating that everyone should try. If everyone should eat that way, there would be less stress in this world.

  15. James Godwin says:

    I run a mindfulness class at work and the first thing I introduce is focuses attention on eating a raisin. Many people think mindfulness requires sitting cross legged on a cushion. I explain that since you eat everyday you have many opportunities to be mindful. Most have found a new appreciation for the food they eat.

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