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Mindful Eating: What do I want? Want do I need? What do I have?

3 questions:

  1. What do I want?
  2. What do I need?
  3. What do I have?

What do I want? (Your mind)

Deciding on a specific taste, texture, temperature, heavy or light food, is there a specific nutrient I am craving.

What do I need? (Your Body/heart)

Decide what you need to eat based on balance, moderation, personal health needs, preferences and nutritional information.

What do I have? (Practice of gratitude as well as surveying the options)

Planning and preparation help here, keeping healthy, convenient & appealing foods on hand, bring food with you to work or trips, keep basic cooking ingredients on hand.

Survey the choices available – at restaurants, at gatherings – make your best choice. Listen to your hunger/fullness cues. Remember your favorite foods will be available again.

Eat with Intention & Attention


Know your level of hunger, why you are eating, what you want to eat, and how you want to feel when you are finished eating.


Being aware of any distractions. It is our responsibility to be aware of our inner experience, practice using your breath to bring you a sense of centered calm.

Allow yourself to take your time, let go of the need to rush your experience.

Practice gratitude for all the elements that were involved with bringing the food to this table.

Action Steps for the Week

  1. Before you eat, practice asking:

a.      Am I physically hungry?

  • How hungry am I? (practice giving your hunger a number)
    • What do I want?
    • What do I need?
    • What do I have?
  • Eat with Intention and Attention
    • Practice gratitude for all that went into bringing food to your table
    • Ask, how full do I want to be when I am done?
    • Use the “speed bump”
    • Check in with your level of fullness midway through your meal
    • Practice being aware of any distractions while you eat
    • Shift between socializing and eating
  • 5 minutes of intentional breathing
  • Explore ways to fill your true needs
  • What can support your daily practice of mindfulness?
  • Continue with your journal

“What you Practice Gets Stronger”

With thanks to: Pen Bay Medical Center | Waldo County General Hospital

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