Mindful Eating at Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to practice mindful eating. It gives you a chance to slow down and really appreciate and feel gratitude for your food, your company, and your own body. 

Mindful eating does not mean dieting or restrictions. Instead, it is about taking time to take it all in, sight, smell, taste, and more. Begin by reflecting on the moment. Who has prepared this food? Are these foods favorites of yours, or new culinary adventures? How are you feeling about this meal?

Next, focus on the food itself. How does it look? Is it presented in a special way, maybe decorated with marshmallows or garnished with lemon zest? Does it smell good? When choosing what to serve yourself from the feast, think about what you enjoy the most and make that your priority. When there is an abundance of food, you can choose what you like most and leave the rest for others. 

Eat slowly. Try to breathe in with each bite to increase the flavor. Stay present in the moment, enjoying each mouthful, and pause often to talk and listen to your loved ones around you. Thanksgiving is a special time of togetherness, and here is your chance to savor the experience. 

Stop when you’re done. Mindful eating helps us notice the threshold where the joy of eating wanes and we begin overeating, which leaves us feeling unpleasantly or even painfully full. You can pause in the middle of your meal to ask yourself how much you are still enjoying your food. When more food no longer brings more satisfaction, you can stop eating.  You have already maximized your joy in the meal.

Mindful eating at Thanksgiving allows us to appreciate the food and togetherness more than we might otherwise. It helps cultivate the thankfulness and gratitude that brings us together for this special meal.