Using your senses with food

A few moments to be aware

Research has shown that having awareness can reduce binge urges and help you feel more satisfied after eating.


Step 1

Sight: Become aware of the sight of your food
Before you eat your meal or snack, look at your food, examine the color and ask yourself if it looks appealing? Notice the color and how it makes you feel. Do any particular colors stand out more or look more satisfying or pleasing? As you continue to eat, ask yourself if your food still look as appealing? At what point did it start to dull?

Step 2

Smell: Become aware of the smell and appealing aroma
Inhale the aroma of your meal. As you smell think about what thoughts are present, do you have any memories that come flooding back? Does the smell make you feel comfortable and safe? Cozy or relaxed? Appreciate the aroma, as you continue eating be aware of the smell. At what point does the smell start fading? This can happen at the second, third or perhaps forth bite?

Step 3

Taste: Become aware of the taste
When you bite into your food, make an effort to see what flavors you can taste. Roll the food around your mouth to cover all areas of your tongue. Taste can be: Sweet, sour, salty, bland, spicy, minty, floral, smoky, acidic, roasted, sharp, bitter. Remember closing your eyes helps you concentrate more on the flavors. As you continue through each bite, ask yourself did it taste as good as the last one?

Step 4

Texture: Become aware of the texture
Roll the food around your mouth gently, really concentrate on the texture in your mouth, does it feel the way you expected it? Is it as smooth as it looked? Is the taste and overall enjoyment influenced by the texture? Is the texture creamy, crispy, soft, sharp, rough, rubbery, slimy, smooth, bold, lumpy, hard, or crunchy? Does it change quickly from a solid to a liquid; does it change in texture at the start middle and end? Notice if the texture sensations dull as you eat, did they seem more apparent and enjoyable at the beginning of your meal?

Step 5

Sound: become aware of sound
Be aware of different sounds and noises that come from different food types. Recognize the crunch sounds and notice how this softens as you continue to chew. Be aware of soft and gentle sounds. Hear the sounds as you grind through tough foods and listen out for sounds you make when you swallow.

Step 6

Stomach: Become aware of your stomach
As you eat notice any sensations that you feel in your stomach. Take a deep breath as you clear your head and tune in to your stomach. With each bite you take, really concentrate on how it feels in your stomach, pleasure with eating normally fades the more your stomach becomes full. This requires tuning into your stomach after each mouthful. Try and feel the temperature of the food and how it makes you feel along with the filling capacity of different types of food. Notice any subtle sensations and a feeling of filling up.

Step 7

Temperature: notice the temperature
You will feel the temperature of the food as it enters your mouth, goes down your throat and into your stomach. Warm foods can be more satisfying than cold foods, this is especially apparent on a cold winter’s day. Be aware of what foods you feel like more, a bowl of Scotch broth on a winter’s day or a prawn salad?

Step 8

Notice the volume & capacity
Some foods are light and some are very heavy. The volume and capacity of the food you eat will have an effect on how it feels in your stomach. For example, a bag of popcorn will feel different to a bowl of muesli.

Different foods have different filling capacities. From now on be aware of what filling capacity foods have on your stomach.

The information provided in this website is for information purposes only. The information on this website is NOT a substitute for proper diagnosis, treatment or the provision of advice by an appropriate health professional. Please refer to the full disclaimer and copyright. If you do think you might suffer from an eating disorder, it is important that you talk to your General Practitioner, as there are many physical complications that can arise from being at an unhealthily low weight or from losing weight very quickly, or from purging. We advise you to seek professional help with working on an eating disorder.


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