Back in July I wrote about how Mindful Eating almost ruined chocolate for me. At least it ruined cheap chocolate for me. Catch that post here. However, I never thought about the 80% Rule with Mindful Eating until now.

What’s the 80% Rule?

When it comes to eating in the context of Blue Zone’s it’s to stop eating when you are 80% full.

To me that’s kind of like, man I should have invested in Amazon stock in the mid 90’s. If only I would have known Amazon in less than 20 years would be taking over the world, I’d be a multimillionaire.

Having the luxury of writing these blog posts and knowing what’s coming next, I try and practice these things a few days before I write them. Let’s just say WITHOUT mindful eating, this one is hard!

Typically at bite 3 or 4 AFTER my 80% full, do I realize I should have stopped. Especially if it’s something saucy and comforting. And if it’s a party type atmosphere and there’s alcohol involved, whoa nelly!

One of my tricks when working with weight loss clients is to train them to leave 3 bites of food on their plate, especially when dining out or being served the food. I’d highly encourage this as well to make it through Week 4.

Other tips I’ve used is to cut back on plate size to 10 inches. However, smaller isn’t always better. Per Dr. Brian Wansink, who I consider a master researcher on this topic out of Cornell University reports if you’re eating off a plate too small, you’ll convince yourself it’s ok to go for seconds. Check out a whole slew of his MindLESS eating research here.

The other part is to practice Mindful Eating. 

What’s that?

Dr. Weil says it well. “To me, eating mindfully means slowing down, expressing gratitude for the food we are eating, being satisfied with food, and paying attention to why we eat. If you get into the habit of mindful eating it will help steer you away from unhealthy relationships with food, and I think you will find, as I have, that it heightens the pleasure of the experience.”

I think for most of us our Mindful eating happens in the first 1 or 2 bites of food (or drink). Especially if it’s the first bite of pizza, cheesecake or at any fancy restaurant where we are shelling over $50 for a steak. You want to savor the whole experience. Right? How many times have you watched someone eat on a cooking show and they close their eyes when taking that first bite? All the time! But after that first bite and considerably quicker after that, it’s brain chaos. The perpetual “To Do” list in your head or even just chatty banter of conversation with your mates. But then BAM! all of a sudden that piece of 700 calorie cheesecake is GONE!

From June 26th to July 2nd, it’s time to be Mindful when it comes to eating and vow to STOP eating well before the need to unbutton your pants.

Start by keeping the TV off when eating! I’m an anti TV in the bedroom girl, but I’d be dog gone ballistic if my husband ever approached me to get a TV in the kitchen or invest in some sturdy TV trays for the family.

And speaking of electronics, NO PHONES or tablets when eating either!! On a rare moment when I’m eating by myself, I tend to feel the need to “catch up” or “multi-task” with a book, magazine or phone next to me. Can you taste your food when you’re reading? I can’t.

Say no to the bread bowl. There ain’t no room for cheap, stale, white bread. And trust me on this, try and be mindful when eating a cheddar biscuit from your favorite chain restaurant. You’ll be cut off forever. The smell alone will probably leave you gagging but wait to you taste all the salty preservatives. Water please!

Do you have any tricks for Mindful Eating or cutting yourself off at 80%? I’d love to hear them. Don’t forget to comment below or share them on the KimLeneghan FB page.

Hugs, Kim



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