Campus News

Researcher details ways to practice mindful eating

Anita Reina, postdoctoral researcher in the College of Public Health, spoke with WebMD about ways that people can incorporate mindful eating practices. When done over time, mindful eating can change relationships with food and have health benefits.

“Mindful eating takes practice,” Reina said. “You don’t just wake up one day and run a marathon. You have to start with walking and build endurance over time.”

Research conducted by Reina and colleagues has found that mindful eating can be useful in helping people follow a nutritional program.

According to Reina, mindful eating is recommended for anyone who is looking to have a healthy relationship and enjoy the food that they eat.

“Mindfulness is an abstract concept to many people, and though they think it’s a good idea, they have a hard time visualizing it in their busy lives,” Reina said.

Reina recommends creating an easy-to-understand guide or graphic. Something resembling the MyPlate graphic from the U.S. Department of Agriculture can make it easier for people to add mindful eating to their lives.

Taking a moment to say grace before eating gives people an opportunity to consider the food they are eating and feel a sense of gratitude. While eating, people can practice mindfulness by noticing when they’re picking up a utensil, taking a bite and putting the utensil down.