Everything You Need To Know About Mindful Eating

April 06,2012

I’ve written about the value of mindfulness and awareness before, and another way to try to incorporate mindfulness into your life is through eating. Eating disorders and disordered eating behaviors are far too common these days, but even people who consider themselves to be healthy eaters tend to not have a lot of awareness about their eating. So many of us gulp down our meals, keep eating without realizing we are full, or eat while in front of the TV, behind a computer, or in the car. It is rare that we take the time to really enjoy our food, which is a shame because eating can be a truly pleasurable experience.

There’s actually a very powerful relationship between eating and sex. I’ve found that the way you approach eating can be quite similar to the way you approach sex. Are you always rushed? Do you take the time to savor? Do you overindulge or deprive yourself? Taking a look at your eating tendencies can reveal a lot about your relationship to sex!

If you are interested in experimenting with being more aware during eating, here are a few exercises you can try:

Mindful Eating | Vanessa Marin Sex Therapy

Pick a meal during which you will try to incorporate mindful eating. Make sure you have at least 20 minutes to sit down and eat your food. If it is possible to be alone and in a quiet place away from distractions, that is preferable. Go through the following steps:

Another exercise to try is keeping a food journal for at least three days. Find a small notebook that you can easily carry with you for three days, or create a notepad on your smartphone. For three days, keep a detailed list of every single item you eat or drink. Try to be as detailed as possible about the exact type and amount of food. Even if you only have one bite of something, write it down. Notice how taking this extra step might affect your eating patterns. Does looking at the list at the end of the day surprise you? Did you forget to add certain things to the list? Did you stop yourself from eating something? Did you feel more aware of your eating?

Many of us have complicated relationships with food. To discuss your relationship with eating in further detail, call (415) 658-5738 or visit my Appointments page to set up a consultation.


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I'm Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist and writer specializing in helping you have more fun in the bedroom.

I have bachelor’s degrees in human sexuality and sociology from Brown University, and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. I’m also a licensed psychotherapist. I’ve been working in the sex therapy field since 2002 and have been featured by The New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, and many more.

If you’re interested in improving your sex life, you can work with me via my online courses or personal coaching sessions. I look forward to supporting you in creating the sex life you’ve always wanted!