How Making Use Of Your Five Senses Encourages Conscious Eating



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Each of the five senses plays an important role when it comes to keeping appetite in check. Try focusing on enjoying meals sitting down with minimal distractions. Opt for whole foods when possible and try to incorporate multiple textures to aid satiety. Not only do your five senses help you connect with your food, but also with yourself and how you feel.

Using one or all your senses when eating creates awareness of how foods affect you, your emotions, and your thoughts/feelings. We’ve got a challenge for you: Engage one or all your senses. Encourage children to use the 5 senses and practice small “mindful bites”. Now that children have a general understanding about what it means to practice mindfulness, have them experience their food in a new way.

Encourage children to remain present and in the moment by drawing upon their five senses to take small, intention bites. The quote below from an article by WebMD says it well, “Mindful eating encourages you to use your senses to choose foods that please you and are nourishing to your body. Pay attention to the physical cues of fullness or hunger that your body sends. Use these to make decisions about when to begin eating and when to stop.” 2) Clear a path. The point of being mindful eating is being present with your food and the way you eat it.

Try and focus on the taste of the food, focus on all the textures and flavors. Doing this will help you slow down and be more grateful for your food, savoring every bite. Update 12/10/19: Here’s the link to a printable Five Senses Snack Chart.And there are several more printable mindfulness worksheets at my author site,

Important Note About Downloads: These are printable worksheets, not fill-in-able pdfs. If you’d like to have your students fill them in and send them to you, the worksheets need to be downloaded as ‘Format: Open Office XML.’. Mindful Eating with All Five Senses How French women keep menus interesting. Seasonality—eating the best at its peak—and seasoning—the art of choosing and combining flavors to complement food—are vital for fighting off the food lover’s worst enemy: not calories but boredom.

Mindful eating is about using mindfulness to reach a state of full attention to your experiences, cravings, and physical cues when eating (8). Fundamentally, mindful eating involves: eating. Chew your food as much as you possibly can, tasting every bit of it.

Many of your other senses can be utilized in this taste activity as we often see and smell our beautiful food before tasting it. Plus now you get to enjoy a nice snack, under a tree, after all of. Mindfulness practice helps you notice when this happens. When you do notice you are feeling overwhelmed, you can use this exercise to bring yourself back to the here and now. It takes just a few minutes and extends an invitation to be present.

Leaving the eyes open, notice five things you can see. You can say them out loud or silently in your head.

List of related literature:

Aspects of the mindful state, such as awareness of bodily cues and emotions and a kind attitude toward oneself, can uniquely target these aspects of eating.

“The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of Mindfulness” by Amanda Ie, Christelle T. Ngnoumen, Ellen J. Langer
from The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of Mindfulness
by Amanda Ie, Christelle T. Ngnoumen, Ellen J. Langer
Wiley, 2014

Mindful eating involves all the senses.

“Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food-includes C D” by Jan Chozen Bays
from Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food-includes C D
by Jan Chozen Bays
Shambhala, 2009

Mindful eating includes noticing the colors, smells, flavors, and textures of your food; chewing slowly; getting rid of distractions like TV, cell phones, or reading; and learning to cope with negative feelings about food, such as guilt and anxiety.

“Fundamentals of Complementary, Alternative, and Integrative Medicine E-Book” by Marc S. Micozzi
from Fundamentals of Complementary, Alternative, and Integrative Medicine E-Book
by Marc S. Micozzi
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2018

Indeed, all five senses contribute to some particularly rich eating experiences.

“Making Sense of Taste: Food and Philosophy” by Carolyn Korsmeyer
from Making Sense of Taste: Food and Philosophy
by Carolyn Korsmeyer
Cornell University Press, 2014

Since eating involves all five of the senses, it is an excellent opportunity to practice mindfulness every day.

“The Worry Trap: How to Free Yourself from Worry & Anxiety Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy” by Chad LeJeune
from The Worry Trap: How to Free Yourself from Worry & Anxiety Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
by Chad LeJeune
New Harbinger Publications, 2007

There is also mindful eating (Figure 3.3), which focuses on the sensations of eating—the smell, taste, and texture of the food and the experience of chewing and swallowing.

“Mindfulness in the Classroom: Strategies for Promoting Concentration, Compassion, and Calm” by Thomas Armstrong
from Mindfulness in the Classroom: Strategies for Promoting Concentration, Compassion, and Calm
by Thomas Armstrong
ASCD, 2019

Second, the mindful eating exercise teaches us that when we do tune in, the senses are illuminated.

“Mindfulness: Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Psychology” by Christina Feldman, Willem Kuyken, Zindel V. Segal
from Mindfulness: Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Psychology
by Christina Feldman, Willem Kuyken, Zindel V. Segal
Guilford Publications, 2019

Mindful eating is one aspect of mindfulness, or awareness, which is the seventh of the Buddhist eightfold paths to enlightenment.

“Food, Feasts, and Faith: An Encyclopedia of Food Culture in World Religions [2 volumes]” by Paul Fieldhouse
from Food, Feasts, and Faith: An Encyclopedia of Food Culture in World Religions [2 volumes]
by Paul Fieldhouse
ABC-CLIO, 2017

I like to encourage “sensory-rotations”—focusing on one sense a week and applying that to your relationship with food and eating.

“The Rainbow Diet: A Holistic Approach to Radiant Health Through Foods and Supplements” by Deanna Minich
from The Rainbow Diet: A Holistic Approach to Radiant Health Through Foods and Supplements
by Deanna Minich
Mango Media, 2018

I like to encourage doing “sensory rotations” by focusing on one sense a week and applying that to your relationship with food and eating.

“Chakra Foods for Optimum Health: A Guide to the Foods That Can Improve Your Energy, Inspire Creative Changes, Open Your Heart, and Heal Body, Mind, and Spirit” by Deanna M. Minich
from Chakra Foods for Optimum Health: A Guide to the Foods That Can Improve Your Energy, Inspire Creative Changes, Open Your Heart, and Heal Body, Mind, and Spirit
by Deanna M. Minich
Mango Media, 2009

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

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  • I’ve been forced to move and everywhere I look is chaos & horrible so no calm nice & comfy space anywhere. I’ve got a brain injury & where I’ve been made to live isn’t adapted to my needs, is a struggle to live in and isn’t somewhere I’d have ever chosen: I hate it. But beggars can’t be choosers & I’m lucky not to be homeless (yet) when so many people are. And I know there are so many people who need help with tasks, I want to be able to them myself, I just need a place where & systems which I can. This place & this stress has made me very very ill & no scents or sounds or tastes etc. help, I’ve tried very very hard, exhausted with trying to adapt, proud of how well I did but because of all this I’ve regressed so EVERYTHING is far more difficult plus packing & moving injured my neck & back even more and they were already very bad. Despair.

  • Hi, I am looking for a spiritual video about mindful eating. Can someone tell me whether this is a good one for that? An early reply will be highly appreciated.

  • When we connect to our 5 senses this allows our mind and body to be in the present moment at the same time!! Mental health YouTuber here!!

  • Not sure if you’ll read this, but I was in a cycle for a year straight and couldn’t break out of it finally I did without even noticing, now I feel like it’s back and that’s my greatest fear. What I’m doing this time is accepting I can’t get rid of it and trying to face my fears.

  • O wow. This is great to understand why my tool kit helps me! I didn’t know about the limbic system but I have had a kit for a few years! A panic kit in my bedside draw!!Mints, Rose talc, a hand fan, water spray, moisturiser for hands/legs/face, rose cleanser and toner. Also I have a huge urge to throw water over myself in a panic?! Hahaha! Why is that? If I’m really really bad I sometimes I do! (let me add this is in the middle of the night not at the restaurant ��) the cold water shocks my body, makes me gasp and calms me down. But then my panic shakes can turn into shivers and big leg/stomach spasms. So I don’t do that too often, hence I use my water spray + fan. Sometimes I’ll get a shower sometimes I just sit in it to calm down. I find the warm water on my stomach (for some reason? Maybe loads of tension? Heart? Nerves? I think it calms the adrenaline). It just resets my body. And even though we have it drilled into us about not using devices, something that calms my brain/body is blue light. Either the screen on my phone or the torch on it, I just switch the torch on, kind have it in my peripheral vision, adjust the brightness with sheets or blankets. Daylight and bird song also tell my body “safe”. I think that’s why I struggle in the winter.

    I think it’s dealing with the ‘hardware’ of the body like you say the unconscious part that’s freaking out for some reason. Tonight for example and several nights in the past drinking a few sips of water my stomach totally freaks and my pulse goes right upboom. It’s like my body/stomach wasn’t ready for it. The cold sensation (I think) must be a kind of shock to my body somehow. Anywho tonight I learnt something. I normally stand absolutely frozen to the spot when I’m like this. I absolutely cannot sit down. I guess that’s my fight/flight/FREEZE going on. But tonight I just plonked/sat on the floor immediately. Because I can’t lie or sit down when this happens it’s too intense but when usually stand with my (legs as stiff as a board, just you try and bend one �� ) it uses a tremendous amount of energy and it’s so uncomfortable. Tonight I flopped to the floor let the adrenaline do it’s thing let my breath do whatever it wanted and I’m suuuuure I (pulse/blood pressure) settled quicker because there was less strain from standing. (Altering the hardware of the body, sitting sends the message “it’s ok” standing is “still waiting for something to happen”) Can’t always keep it together when this happens but tonight I did ��

    I’ve definitely noticed I need to communicate to my brain from the outside in not words so much but sensations I guess it’s speaking to it in the same language it’s speaking to me.

    So much of these adrenaline surges seem to come from my ‘stomach’… I’ll half wake and feel my stomach is ‘sensitive’ or ‘not right’ as soon as I move kapow! Adrenaline. = panic/me awake for 1-4 hours. I’m wondering if anyone can relate? Or explain? I’ve tried microbiotics and they made me feel terrible!

    Sorry this is long! Just thought I’d share…

  • I have used my keys for grounding myself when dealing with my parents. I unknowingly use physical things as “grounding” techniques. I will show this to a friend who struggles. TY

  • Perfumes/colognes… The same as toilet/ room fresheners… All toxins we should stay away from! People with multiple chemical sensitivities are the “canaries in the mine.” I have been conflicted about being happy when people who refused to believe those things really bothered me, and insisted on using their perfume even when they knew I’d have to be in close proximity, became sensitive and bothered as much themselves.

  • Hello, Emma, Thankyou, i suffered from anxiety, stress, i use breathing exercises because i also have panic attacks, i listen to country music to tried and help calm me down and relax more.

  • Does this actually work for people who dislike eating and are overwhelmed by it and therefore rather eat too little than too much? I am scared that if I actually try to eat mindfully I will get panic attacks and get overwhelmed and have even a harder time to eat.

  • What would be your biggest advice to someone who has anxiety constantly? I mean from the second I wake up until the minute I try and sleep? What the best way to interrupt that cycle to at least allow me to do all the other things that may help me? Thanks, Phil.

  • 1) Smell: ( start by finding a couple of sense that you love and keep them near you; lotion, oil, necklace diffuser carrying them around with you

    2) Touch:( different type of fabrics ( carry them with you in your purse) ; stone

    3) Taste: tea, mint, a bit of chocolate

    4) Sight: noticing the room you’re in, scan your environment to know your safe, religion painting, photo collections on your phone, mental imagery

    5) Hearing: silent, bird singing, running water, music

  • This is great insight!

    I read a book where the author loved having her toes in the sand at the beach. So she brought a cat litter box full of sand to her work to keep at her desk to dip her toes in and stay calm.

  • Dear Emma, I have found that under stress it’s important to get to a think slow mind, to call things to myself and take the time to order my thinking and you are so right about the senses to get that started. One of my faves is a candle, the soft light, the warmth, the comfort of the softer mood in a room. Lucerne Hay is calming and also energizing (how strange is that?). Sometimes you’ll find clothing that does this too. It just feels right. All of this is worth investigating carefully, to fine-tune response. The more you consider, the more possibilities there are. Movement can do this to.

  • I feel my muscle definition looks more out there plus skin quality, not sure if its more minerals/vitamins get absorbed or its a psychological situation.

  • My cats are my sensory toolkits:-) their soft fur, their cute little faces, their purring and chirping, they even smell alive and good.

  • There is SUCH Goodness in you!!! Thank you for these very helpful videos, and the calm and happy way you share good information. God bless you, always…��

  • This is great information, thanks! I have a wax perfume I use called ‘Meditation balm’. The wax makes it long lasting. To help centre myself I just rub my wrists together & that bit of heat friction reactivates the scent. I have trained myself to use some un noticeable & discrete hand gestures as a sensory/touch cue for grounding. Sometimes I chant in my mind, & this an audio grouding for me, even though others cant hear it. Visualisation type meditation can be useful like this for all the senses when physical cues are not there. I do think using physical objects is a great foundation for this.��

  • Hello I really need an answer to this: I wish daily I could go back to when I didn’t know I had anxiety. After knowing it, I spiraled into depression. I got over it, but I still have anxiety thoughts. I want to go to bed without thinking of it, because it haunts me, but it’s a random thought that just pops out. I try not to enter into the thought, but it annoys me because it reminds me of how much I suffered. I hear a lot of people saying “I got used to anxiety”. I don’t want to get used to it, I want to go to sleep without remembering it exists. Is it really possible to get rid of it? (not talking about the normal and healthy anxiety we all have to preserve our lives)

  • Touching plants is calming as well as smiling Cocao powder roses lemon or orange really bring joys.. thanks for your vedio Emma really helpful

  • What about something that can bridge two for the connected sense, such as taste and smell? Something or an object that works with the two at the same time.