Mindful Eating – Feed Only the Hunger

It is less than one week to Christmas and I want to share some eating strategies that may prevent you from overindulging and they will let you celebrate without guilt.

First, check whether your eating is out of whack with your actual physical hunger. When you should eat can be determined based on a hunger scale.

1 = completely empty

10 = overfull and feeling physically ill

You may have noted that the lower the number, the likelier you should eat due to physical hunger and the higher the number indicates that you should stop eating.

Second, keep to the lower numbers on the hunger scale to help you decide when you should eat.

If you wonder what constitutes physical hunger, here are a few pointers:

  • Hunger comes on gradually
  • You are open to a variety of options
  • You can wait to eat
  • You are more likely to stop eating when full
  • You don’t feel guilty for eating

When you are attending or hosting a party, it is easy to ignore hunger and to eat for the following reasons:

  • Social – eating around people or in social situations and being influenced by seeing what other people are eating
  • Situational – because it’s there
  • Thoughts – making excuses or rationalizations for eating

Here are a few strategies to help you be a mindful eater:

  • Eat when you are gently hungry – don’t wait until you are ravenous
  • Serve yourself smaller portions
  • Stop eating part-way through your meal and gauge the level of hunger you still feel
    • Do you feel satisfied?Mind
    • Are you still eating because the food is there?
  • Discover your “last bite” threshold, and push your plate away or bring it to the kitchen
  • Don’t stand near the buffet or where food is laid out – you will likely pick at it
  • Savour the food. Taste it and, on a scale of 1 – 10, if it is not an 8, 9, or 10, don’t eat any more of it. Why eat food that you don’t find appealing?

Adopting mindful eating strategies will help you get through the holidays and beyond without packing on the pound and still having a good time.


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