In this guide, I will show you all the basics of mindful eating, including a mindful eating script and the benefits of mindful eating exercises.
Note that there are many benefits of this method. However, if your goal is to lose weight, you might also like to read my guide to weight loss meditation techniques.
Try These Wonderful Mindful Eating Scripts & Exercises
1: Just Eat
The best place to start is to just eat. As in, make eating the only thing you are doing, and focus on it. This means not eating while watching TV or being on your phone. It means focusing your mind 100% on eating.
It also means not chatting while eating.
In How To Eat, Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh says, “Refrain from discussing subjects that can destroy your awareness of the people around you and the food. If someone is thinking about something other than the food on the table, such as his difficulties in the office or with friends, it means he is losing the present moment and the food.
“You can help by returning his attention to the meal.” That is the heart of it. It is all about bringing our attention to our food.
2: Chocolate Mindful Eating script
- To do this exercise, you will need a chocolate bar.
- Sit comfortably and take ten deep breaths through your nose, and out through the mouth, just to calm and focus your mind.
- Pick up your chocolate bar. Unwrap it. Now hold it in your hand.
- Before you bite into the chocolate, observe it. Notice it. Notice the shape, the weight, the texture. Simply be aware of the chocolate.
- Now go to take a bite of chocolate. But move mindfully. Be conscious of the movement of your mouth as you go to bite into the chocolate bar.
- Bite. Now focus on the sensations involved with the food. Meditate on the texture of the food, the way it feels in your mouth, the smell (if there is one). Observe the entire process using your five senses.
- Now swallow and be mindfully aware of what happens in your body.
- Continue in this way. Again, it’s not about a precise process. It’s more about intent. It’s about being awake and aware of the process of eating.
Some of my online meditation students have asked why we eat chocolate in this mindful eating exercise. Why not a healthy food?
The food you eat is based on your thoughts and feelings about that food. The exercise above makes us aware of our feelings and cravings for junk food and therefore increases conscious control of our food choices.
Eating one chocolate bar for this exercise will help you to say no to chocolate in the future.
3: Mindful Eating Raisin Script
- Place a single raisin in front of you.
- Take a minimum of twenty breaths to calm and focus your mind.
- Look at the raisin. Mindfully observe the raisin visually.
- Now pick the raisin up. Notice what it feels like. What texture does it have?
- Now bite into the raisin slowly. Notice how the raisin changes as you bite into it.
- Meditate on the flavours of the raisin and on the way it feels in your mouth.
- Swallow and meditate on the aftertaste of the raisin.
This simple exercise trains the mind to be more appreciative of the experience of eating healthy food in small quantities.
4: Mindful Eating Script for Kids
If you want to teach your kids mindful eating, try this script.
- Set a fun food plate full of bright colours, like various fruits, for instance. Now ask your kids the following questions:
- What do you see? Get them to observe the food with their eyes.
- Does the food make a sound?
- What do you smell? How about when you shake it?
- How does it feel in your hand and in your mouth?
- What does it taste like? Let them take a small bite of the food and ask them to observe the tastes. Then after they swallow, get them to describe the flavours to you.
Mindful Eating Tips
Here are some of the most important basics of mindful eating:
- Be mindful: Do not binge-eat and do not eat food while watching TV or doing anything else. When you’re eating, just eat. Make sure that is the only thing you are doing.
- Take time to appreciate food: Don’t wolf down your food. Take the time to notice and appreciate your food. This isn’t so much about eating slowly as it is about being mindful.
- Don’t calorie count. If you are aware of food and body signals, that will be enough.
- Eat when you’re hungry, not starving: If you are too hungry when you come to the dinner table, you will be tempted to scoff your food down too quickly. Eat when you get hungry, but before you are starving.
- Eat with your mind: Make sure your mind is actively engaged in the process.
- Cook mindfully: When cooking, take the time to notice the textures, scents, flavours, and other senses involved with the food, and mindfully observe the transformation process from oven to plate.
- Remember this mindful eating mantra: “I will be mindfully aware of all the food I eat.”
- Diet: It’s best to practice mindful eating exercises on a diet like the Mediterranean Diet–fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts, and vegetable oils.
- Shopping list: Make an intention of filling your shopping list with items that will make it enjoyable to eat mindfully (mostly nutritional, healthy foods with a variety of textures and colours).
- Pay attention to body signals like hunger and fullness. Observe and accept these sensations rather than judging them.
- Eat in the right place: In the dining room. At the table. Not in front of the TV.
- Note that you can also use mindfulness to quit drinking
Yoga and meditation teacher Huma Gruaz recommends the following mindful eating tips:
1-Shift your perspective on what eating is about:
Notice when and if you are eating for comfort. Start shifting your focus to a need-based relationship with food. Educate yourself on what kind of foods will nourish your body and what kinds of food are empty calories.
2- Be aware of signs of real hunger versus cravings
How many times do we eat without really being hungry as we are simply craving something? Mindfulness pauses the eye-mouth relationship where little thinking or pause is involved. – i.e. we see a doughnut, our mouth waters, and we eat it.
With mindfulness, we are able to push the pause button, shift into the witness role, observe what is happening in the body and mind, and check-in with our gut, to see
- A) if we are actually hungry.
- B) if we are, if this is the best option to put in our body.
- C) what are the key nutrients our body will get from this experience.
- D) how will the food affect the mind and body – feeling bloated, tired and perhaps quilty?.
3: These tips from Amber DiPietro [Pravasana Holistic Health & Wellness]
• Avoid multi-tasking. This means putting away the electronics, turning off the tv, stopping social media, and just eating.
• Notice the aroma of the food
• Turn to the texture and sensation in the mouth. Maybe you even feel your saliva glands in action
• Move into the taste and the temperature of the food
• Pay attention to if you’re chewing enough or just inhaling your bites
• how does your belly feel?
• Take your time with each bite and eat with intention
Mindful Eating Courses
The mindful eating scripts we have looked at above will help you to get started. But you might like to take things further. There are a lot of different teachers around the world. One good place to find a course or teacher is via The Center For Mindful Eating.
Detailed Analysis of Mindful Eating Exercises
Mindful eating is basically a mindfulness meditation exercise based on food and drink.
Jan Chozen Bays, M.D. states that it is about “paying full attention to the experience of eating and drinking, both inside and outside the body.”
Mindful Eating scripts are based on the concept of mindfulness, a Buddhist term that translated from Sanskrit means “Awareness”.
Studies show that mindfulness helps to promote the parasympathetic nervous system to produce feelings of relaxation. However, it is also helpful for controlling food cravings and making us more aware of our food.
Mindfulness has evolved recently and now includes therapies like the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course created by Jon Kabat Zinn, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and indeed, Mindful Eating exercises.
According to psychotherapist Karen R Koenig M.Ed, LCSW, “Mindful eating means paying exclusive attention to appetite cues and our mind/body relationship to food.
Eating too fast and mindlessly interrupts communication between the brain and gut . In turn, this can cause problems for the glycemic index (GI), as well as gas and bloating. It can also prevent us from experiencing the fullness signal. And in turn, this could cause overeating. Indeed, mindless eating can lead to binge eating, emotional eating, external eating, food cravings, and weight gain.
When we eat mindfully, we train the mind to eat when hungry and to pay attention. This improves communication between the brain and gut and can improve digestion and GI. It also reduces stress, which is a cause of obesity. And all this just by changing the way you think about food.
4 Benefits of Mindful Eating Exercises
There are many scientifically-proven benefits of mindful eating.
1: Weight Loss
One of the most significant benefits of mindful eating is weight loss according to Harvard Medical School . It helps with weight loss because it makes it more conscious of our relationship with food and gives us more mental control over our dietary habits. This can be huge for binge eating .
2: Improves nutrition:
When you become more aware of food through mindful eating exercises, you’ll naturally choose foods consciously, which will lead to more varied and nutritious meals (this is not backed by science but is my personal experience).
3: Helps diabetics
Research shows that mindful eating scripta are equally as helpful for managing Type 2 Diabetes as the traditional nutrition-based diet approach and also effective in managing blood sugar levels and weight according to a scientific study by Ohio State University. 
4: Aids Digestion
Research from Harvard Medical School shows a positive link between mindful eating and digestion.
Digestion involves complex hormonal signals between the nervous system and the digestive system. It takes approximately twenty minutes for us to get that feeling of being full. If we eat too quickly, we often overeat before we get the message telling us to stop. This can cause digestion problems.
Author and nutritionist Lilian Cheung, together with Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, produced research that shows that mindful eating leads to slower food consumption, which lets the body tell us that we are full, so we do not overeat.
Download our Mindful Eating PDF here
There are so many benefits of mindful eating scripts. And what’s best is that it is an enjoyable activity. We get to improve our health and wellbeing through an amazingly easy and relaxing practice. It doesn’t get much better than that.
If you’re trying to lose weight, working on a disorder, or simply want to appreciate food more, try it. It’s free, and it’s a win-win.
1: How Your Eating Habits Affect Your Health, National Institutes of Health, https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2017/05/how-your-eating-habits-affect-your-health
2: Mindful eating may help with weight loss, Harvard Health Publishing, https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/mindful-eating-may-help-with-weight-loss
3: Greater mindful eating practice is associated with better reversal learning, Lieneke K. Janssen, Radboud University, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5890263/
4: Diabetes study: ‘Mindful eating’ equals traditional education in lowering weight and blood sugar, Ohio State University, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121108181136.htm
5: Mindful eating, Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/mindful-eating