Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth yoga, fitness, & nutrition courses, when you sign up for Outside+.
For the next seven days, focus on tactics that’ll help you hone the mindful-eating practice you started during Week 1. Do each exercise for two days in a row to help solidify the practice and make it easier to remember:
Days 43–44: Eat without distractions.
Choose one meal that you’ll eat alone—and not with the TV on, at your desk while working, or with your smartphone next to you, says Peláez. “It’ll force you to really focus on how your food feels, smells, and tastes—and make you realize how rare it is that you bring this kind of attention to what you’re eating,” she says.
Days 45–46: Take three big, grateful breaths before a meal.
And before any snacks, even if it’s a handful of chips or a leftover croissant from your breakfast meeting, says Kay. “Simply breathing mindfully immediately inspires you to be more present, which prompts you to be more intentional about the food choices you’re making.”
Days 47–48: Slow wayyyyy down.
Your taste buds actually get duller and duller after every bite of food, says Kristeller, so savor each bite. Find it tough not to shovel in your food, especially when you’re hungry? Put your fork down between bites. “It sounds excessive, but it’ll force you to really chew each bite and take a mini-breather before you take another,” she says.
Day 49: Have another cheat day.
Today, try to be as mindless as possible at every meal. Chow down on a take-out lunch while you work at your desk; eat from the bag of chips as you watch TV tonight. Then, check in with yourself and compare this “cheat day” to the one during Week 1. “Odds are, your mindful-eating practices are so set in stone at this stage that your ‘cheats’ aren’t as enjoyable as they used to be,” says Kay.
Continue on to the next week:
- Week 1: Build a Foundation
- Week 2: Do a Digestion Assessment
- Week 3: Replace Old Vices with New Routines
- Week 4: Manage Obstacles
- Week 5: Have More Fun with Your Food
- Week 6: Notice (and Celebrate!) Changes
- Week 7: Reinforce Mindful Eating
- Week 8: Deal with Your Emotional Crud
- Week 9: Set Yourself up for Continued Success
- Week 10: Dream Big