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Mindful eating involves listening to your body and paying close attention to what you eat and drink. Most of us do not do this. Instead, we tend to eat large quantities of whatever tastes good, often without thinking about it. Before you know it, you’ve had way too much to eat or drink, and you either feel uncomfortably full or found that you’ve just gone way off of your diet.

The thing to remember about “mindful eating” is that it’s called that for a good reason: you have to put forth a real effort to make it work for you. Here are a few tips that should help you with this.

Slow Down

It takes about 20 minutes for you to actually feel full after eating, which is why it’s so easy to consciously overeat. You may have eaten enough to sate your hunger, but if it takes 20 minutes for your body to register the fact that you’re full, you’ll want to keep eating. Since you cannot really control how you physically feel, the solution here is to slow down. This gives your body time to catch up with itself before you’ve had the chance to accidentally overeat.

Listen to Your Body

People tend to eat when they feel emotional, even when they aren’t hungry. If you feel the need to eat something, ask yourself why. Are you really physically hungry, or are you just feeling emotional? Listen to your body and pay attention to the hunger signals it sends or doesn’t send. If you truly don’t feel hungry, don’t eat.

Organize a Mindful Kitchen

Part of the reason we tend to eat way more of the wrong kinds of foods than we should is because we make it so easy. Look around your kitchen and see what kinds of snacks are the most accessible. Are they fruits and vegetables, or are they chips and candy? If you have mostly junk food within reach, you’ll be more likely to eat that whenever you’re feeling hungry. It’s okay to have some of these snacks on hand, but you might want to reorganize your kitchen so that your healthier snacks will also be within reach.