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CourseMindful Eating

Mindful Eating

Become more aware of your relationship to food and the thoughts that drive your choices.

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Hi, and welcome to day one of mindful eating. So people come to mindful eating for many different reasons, but whatever your approach, know that this is not about achieving something as with all of the Headspace practice, this is about how we change our relationship with the world around us. In this particular instance, how we change our relationship with food. Because unless we're aware of the thoughts that drive our habits, our behavior, our eating, then there's no real possibility of change. We don't even give ourselves the opportunity to change the way we've always related to food in the past. So we're gonna look at lots of different aspects of this over the next 10 days. But the most important thing is awareness, we're gonna train the mind in awareness during these sessions, and I'm gonna encourage you, give you some tips how you can train your mind in awareness during the day as well. And we're gonna use a technique called noting. It is really helpful in realizing when you're getting caught up in a particular stream of thinking, then being able to see it, let go of it and then come back to whatever you're doing at the time. So really useful for stepping out of habitual, conditioned behavior. Right now though, we need to do is to make sure you're sitting comfortably, that you're not gonna be disturbed. And when you're ready, just taking some big, deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth. And with our next out breath, just gently closing the eyes, allowing the breath to return to its natural rhythm, and just feeling the weight of the body press down against the seat or the floor beneath you. And just taking a moment, just to enjoy that feeling of having pause, and just to settle in to the space, to the sounds around you. And just bringing the attention now back to the body. Starting to notice how the body feels right now. Sense of restlessness or stillness in the body. Just noticing as you scan down from head to toe, not looking to change anything, but just noticing how the body feels. So as you scan downwards, as you become more aware of the physical sensations, just starting to notice the movement of the breath in the body. Not breathing in any special way, but just noticing that rising and falling sensation. So for some people it's in the chest, for some people it's around the diaphragm and for other people is in the stomach. If you can't feel anything, just gently placing your hand on your stomach. So just continuing to follow that movement of breath. Just paying a little more attention now to each in breath, each out breath. Noticing when the breaths are long, noticing when the breaths are short, noticing when they're deep, noticing when they're shallow. Just continuing to follow the breath. So as you continue now to gently focus on...


Duration10-20 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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Frequently asked questions

  • It is all too easy to eat on autopilot, without really thinking about what you’re putting into your body. People can chow down their food without stopping, or stare into space, or scroll their phones with one hand while eating with the other. Mindful eating is about bringing awareness to the table — to the food you’re buying, cooking, and eating. A good mindful eating exercise can be done at home. With each mouthful, notice each flavor, texture, and aroma, and take time to slowly chew your food. This is designed to engage the senses and keep you present. Overall, mindful eating is meant to make you more aware of food choices, from what you choose to buy at the supermarket to individual ingredients to what you put on your plate. Headspace’s Mindful Eating course is a 30-day practice that is designed to make you more aware of your relationship to food and the thoughts that drive those choices.

  • Firstly, mindful eating is not a diet; it is more a framework for bringing awareness into the kitchen and around the dinner table. Once you begin to observe your thoughts and emotions around what you’re eating, you start to better understand your dietary and nutritional choices, and this can fundamentally transform your relationship with food. Any mindful eating exercise will seek to engage the senses — taste, touch, smell, sight — to keep you anchored to the present moment when eating, paying attention to how the food makes you feel, and appreciating the different ingredients and flavors. People who practice mindful eating tend to reconnect with the joy of food or dining, removing any temptation to “chow down” or eat on auto-pilot while distracted.

  • Eating mindfully is all about being present with the experience of eating — every bite, every flavor, every aroma. A good example of a mindful eating exercise is to take a small piece of chocolate, or a little piece of candy, and place it in your hand. Feel the texture … and the anticipation of your taste buds. Smell the aroma. Pop it into your mouth and experience the initial flavors. Continue to roll it around your mouth, without chewing, and notice what thoughts or sensations arise. By paying attention to the senses, you are staying present. You might well take a minute or so enjoying this mindful state, taking your time with each bite. It’s a good practice to go slowly, pause, and savor your food while eating.

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