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100 Days restart - Day 21: Eat with awareness

Jenn J

Day 21: Eat with awareness

Have you ever eaten a candy bar, and then wondered where it went? Maybe you've looked down at your plate and had no memory of eating your meal. You can do a lot of damage with this level of unconscious eating and sometimes not even realize it's contributing to your weight gain.

No awareness

Bob had developed the habit of doing a lot of things at the same time. While he was eating dinner, he would read the paper, watch the news on TV, and try to talk with his family.

Often Bob would finish eating his entire meal and wouldn't even realize it! His family members always laughed when he began searching for the bread he'd already eaten, exclaiming, "Who ate my biscuit?"

Remember, there are two purposes for eating-to fuel your body and to appreciate flavors. When you're eating for fuel, staying conscious helps you be aware of when your tank is full. And if your goal is to appreciate flavors, you certainly want to notice and enjoy the taste of the food you eat.

Slow down

Take a look at your typical eating patterns. Like Bob, are you guilty of eating without awareness? Do you go through the drive-up window at a fast-food restaurant, and then devour a sandwich as you drive? You might believe that you're saving time, but often you don't actually notice the taste of the food or even the fact that you're eating at all.

When you eat with no awareness, you simply miss out on the flavor, texture, and sensation of your food. Because you didn't "get" the taste you wanted, you may still yearn for it, so you eat more.

Unfortunately, fast eating tends to be unconscious eating, putting you at risk for way too much food. Train yourself to slow down and spend more time with your food rather than wolfing it down on the run.

It takes practice to pay attention when you're eating. But once you cultivate more awareness of the food you eat, you'll discover a whole new level of appreciation and enjoyment.


Prepare yourself for having a "mindful-eating" meal by setting a table with your good china and silverware, lighting a candle, and playing quiet music in the background.

Sit down for your meal. While you're eating, don't do any other activities-just focus entirely on the food. Notice details such as the food appearance, flavors and textures, and even the temperature.

In your notebook, record your observations. Then add a few notes about how it feels to eat a meal using that much focus and total awareness.

  Jeanne- CE! Replied:

Good one!

  flower Replied:

When I stopped eating mindlessly I became so aware of how flavorful whole foods are and went on a delightful path of discovery of herbs and spices and how they could enhance the flavor and soon discovered I did not like the taste of foods that were detrimental to my health .

  Lyn💛 Replied:

  Jenn J Replied:

As I have reduced added sugars to my food plan (NOT A DIET) I have started eating slower to savor the flavors. Even the sweet treats I allow myself at the end of the day are enjoyed with leisure. If it's a hard candy, I slowly dissolve it in my mouth to get all the flavor out of it. If it's a tiny candy bar, I take many small bites with pauses between bites.

I'm working on doing this with my food as well, but I'm usually rushed to get the meal finished as I have a time line to follow. 30 minute lunches at work makes it a challenge to savor the flavors.

The opinions expressed on this forum may not represent the opinions of Please consult your physician to determine the weight, nutrition and exercise levels that are best for you.