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How Can Mindful Eating Help In Preventing Overeating? | Mindful Eating Strategies and Exercises To Prevent Overeating

“Eating well is a form of self-respect.” Mindful eating is a technique that helps us to eat well and prevent overeating. This article would help you know how can mindful eating help in preventing overeating and what mindful eating strategies and exercises you should try.

Know-About Mindful Eating:

Mindful eating is based on mindfulness or a form of meditation that aids us to recognize and cope with our emotions and physical sensations. Mindfulness is a Buddhist concept.

Various conditions like eating disorders, anxiety, depression, and several food-related behaviors can be treated by using mindfulness.(1, 2, 3)

Mindful eating uses mindfulness to achieve a state of complete attention where you can know your cravings, experiences, and physical cues while eating. It can be said that mindful eating encourages you to attain awareness of your eating experiences.4

Mindful eating includes eating slowly without any distraction, knowing the difference between true hunger and non-hunger triggers, eating only until you feel full and not more than that or avoiding over eating, paying more attention to the hunger and fullness cues of your body, appreciating the food you are eating, and learning ways to cope with guilt about food. All these things help you to replace automatic thoughts and reactions with healthier and better responses.(5)

How Can Mindful Eating Help In Preventing Overeating?

There are a lot of food choices available in today’s fast-paced world. Added to that, distractions like smartphones and televisions have been added to our eating rituals. This has made our eating quite a mindless act and it can be problematic for most of us.

However, mindful eating can help us restore our attention and make us eat intentionally with consciousness. This can also increase our awareness of triggers that might make you want to overeat unnecessarily.

A systematic review that was published in “Eating Behaviours” in 2014 confirmed that mindfulness meditation could help people scale down emotional eating and reduce binge eating or overeating episodes.(6)

It was found from a study that after a 6-week group intervention in women suffering from obesity, their binge eating episodes reduced from 4 to 1.5 times per week. Moreover, the severity of each episode was even reduced.(7)

Mindful Eating Strategies To Practice For Reducing Overeating

Some mindful eating strategies that you can practice to reduce overeating are as follows.

Sit Down While You Eat

It is essential to turn off the TV and remove other distractions and sit down at a table while we are eating. Research has indicated that sitting down while eating, helps us to be mindful of the amount of food we are consuming and it also helps us enjoy our food more.(8)

Be Aware Of Physical Hunger

One more thing that you should take into account about mindful eating is being aware of the physical hunger. You should try to pay attention to the fact if you are feeling full and need to stop eating any further.

Use All Your Senses

While eating, you should use all your senses and observe the look, smell, and also taste of the food you are eating. You should also take small bites and slowly chew the food.

Avoid All Unhealthy Foods 

One of the most important mindful eating strategies is to avoid all unhealthy foods like candy, cookies, or junk foods and choose all healthy snacks.

Evaluate Your Lifestyle 

You should also take time to evaluate your lifestyle. Several factors like not getting proper sleep or having high-stress levels can significantly impact your appetite hormones.(9)

Some Mindful Eating Exercises To Prevent Overeating

Go Dark 

Hunger is affected strongly by visual cues. So, try to close your eyes for a second while taking a bite of food. When you remove the visual cues, it turns less tempting to eat everything that is on your plate and this can make you know if you are feeling full or need to stop eating. This way overeating can be prevented.

Use Your Non-Dominant Hand And Slow Down While Eating 

Pay more attention to eating by slowing down and not rushing over to finish the food. This can be done by using your non-dominant hand which would help you be in the process of eating and be more attentive.

Practice Focused Breathing 

You should practice focused breathing. It means, inhaling and exhaling slowly and with each breath in, let your belly go out, and with each breath out, allow the belly to go in. This exercise enhances relaxation. By being mindful of yourself, you can become more mindful about everything that you do, including what eat, how much you eat, what your food choices are, and so on.

Practice Yoga Or Tai Chi 

Yoga and tai chi are ancient practices and include deep breathing and also paying attention to body sensations. These can also be a couple of great mindful exercises that can improve focus on everything that is included in your lifestyle, including eating habits.


So, mindful eating is a potential tool for regaining control over your eating and helps in preventing overeating. If you feel like you are overeating continuously or are unable to control it, you should consult with a therapist, or physician who can help you out and work on growing healthier eating habits.


Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 16, 2022

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