My first tip for mindful eating is to quiet your surroundings from electronics or outside noise. Turn off the TV. Silence your phone. Better yet, put phones in another room.
Focus on talking with the people with whom you’re sharing your meal. Talk about your day, your dreams, your fears, the food, the weather. Whatever you want to discuss. You get the idea.
Watching TV or surfing your phone while eating pulls you out of the moment, away from the present event of sharing food with others. Even if you’re eating alone, do it in a way that honors your own presence.
The point is not to dine in silence, but to silence the outside noise that pulls you out of the present. Focus on the meal, the company, your surroundings. Just BE with your food and your family and friends.
In addition to making your table mates feel important and heard, tuning out and turning off electronics offers health benefits. According to this article from The Cleveland Clinic says that watching TV while eating can lead to weight gain as it leads to distracted eating.
Do you currently eat with the TV on or surfing your phone? Are you willing to try one meal without the outside noise? I’d love for you to come back and tell me your thoughts after you try it.