How Mindful Eating Can Help Your Waistline As You Age

Senior man having breakfast early in the morning.

An expanding waistline is sometimes considered an inevitable part of aging. That’s because as you get older, your calorie needs go down. At the same time, you may become less active, which makes gaining weight easier.

And while you can’t control your body’s natural tendency to burn fewer calories as you age, one thing you can do to help keep your waistline in check is to practice mindful eating.

“Mindful eating, or conscious eating, is the practice of being fully attentive to your food, your feelings, and your satiety cues. It’s about eating consciously, engaging all senses, and acknowledging responses, feelings, and physical cues like hunger or fullness,” According to

Mindful eating can help aging individuals make healthy food choices that benefit their health and waistline. Check out these seven practices of mindful eating that can help you start eating more thoughtfully.

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1. Savor Small, Slow Bites

Not only does eating slowly help you fully experience your food’s flavors, textures and aromas, but it also gives your brain the opportunity to recognize when you’re feeling satisfied. That’s because there’s a lag time of up to 30 minutes between eating enough to become full and your brain realizing that you feel full.

2. Serve Modest Portions

Using a standard 9-inch dinner plate—and only filling it once—can help you avoid overeating and food waste.

Are you following these 6 Healthy Habits of Super Agers?

3. Don’t Skip Meals

Going too long without eating increases your risk of strong hunger feelings, which may lead you to make quick and convenient food choices rather than healthy food choices. Eating at set meal and snack times can help reduce these risks.

4. Listen to Hunger Signals, Not Emotional Signals

Many people turn to food when they feel emotions like stress, sadness, boredom and loneliness. Emotional eating can lead to weight gain, so instead, know and listen your body’s physical hunger cues. 

5. Understand Your Food

Unless you’re a hunter-gatherer or raise and grow your own food, you may be disconnected from where your food comes from. However, understanding where food was grown or raised, and who prepared it, can help you feel more grateful for it. It can also help you make choices that are healthier for your body and the planet, such as local foods from the farmers market rather than processed foods from a big-box store.

Check out these 8 Surprising Food and Drinks That Have High Salt.

6. Plan Your Meals

Meal planning and then grocery shopping prepared with a list of ingredients you need is an easy way to make conscious food choices and avoid less-than-ideal impulse buys.

Consider adding these grill-ready foods to your grocery list.

7. Make Mealtime Intentional

Mealtime should be a ritual that includes preparing food, setting the table with proper tableware, and sitting down to eat with no distractions. Avoid eating straight out of containers, standing at the counter, while multitasking, and in front of screens. Making mealtime a ritual can help you slow down, enjoy your food, and take your cues from the people you’re eating with and your body.

Want more? Read our article, 7 Nutritious Foods That Won’t Break the Bank.

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