Mindful Diet: Choosing a Healthy Eating Habit to Change

Choosing a Healthy Eating Habit to Change

Post written by Leo Babauta.

To get the most out of this course, I’m asking you to change one eating habit during the month.

I suggest you log the habit daily, via calendar or spreadsheet, and support your habit change via the forums.

So what habit should you change?

It highly depends on where you are with your eating habits. Here are some suggestions.

Mindful eating habit. For most people, I recommend a mindful eating habit:

  1. The first week, simply pick one meal a day (the same meal each day – breakfast, lunch or dinner) where you do nothing but pay attention to your food, how you feel, how sated you feel. No reading, no computer or mobile device or television, no eating while you walk or drive or work.
  2. The second week, try it for two meals a day, and perhaps try some healthy recipes during these meals (not required for every meal).
  3. The third week, try to eat one healthy meal per day mindfully, and another mindful meal where you can eat whatever you want until you’re sated.
  4. The fourth week, try to be mindful for three meals a day, stopping when sated.

Other suggestions. If you feel you already have a mindful eating habit, you might try one of these instead:

  1. A daily mindful tea ritual, where you do nothing but drink tea mindfully, as a form of meditation.
  2. A daily healthy cooking ritual, where you cook a healthy meal mindfully.
  3. Social mindful eating — if you eat with others often, and overeat when you eat socially, try to eat mindfully during these social eating occasions.
  4. Stick to a healthy meal plan for 5 out of 7 days, giving yourself 1 or 2 “cheat meals” (don’t overdo it) on the other two days.
  5. Drink water or unsweetened tea instead of soda or sugared coffee.
  6. Eat veggies each day at a certain meal, mindfully, and savor them.

It’s possible that more than one of these habits will appeal to you. If so, just pick one for now. You can do a 2nd one next month, and then others after that once you’ve acquired the skill of mindful eating habit change.