If you are looking for a simple way to avoid packing on the pounds, slow, mindful eating may be another practical tool to add to your weight loss tool box.

You may have come across the theory that slow, mindful eating can significantly help you lose weight. The good news- two new studies further support that eating at a slower pace, or “mindfully,” is a method that you should adopt.

When it comes down to it, mindful eating, and learning to eat slowly begins with your spirit. Many of us, myself included, eat breakfast, lunch and dinner without much presence, or attention to what we are doing. To determine if you are a mindless eater, you can simply ask yourself “What did I eat two days ago for lunch and dinner? What about yesterday?” If you can’t answer with confidence, then you are probably eating mindlessly with the best of us.

When you are not attentive to your meals, you tend to eat too fast and too much. Studies have shown that fast eaters consume 3.1 ounces of food per minute, in comparison to 2 ounces of food per minute that slow eaters consume. When you eat too fast, your body does not have a chance to tell you that is full; therefore, causing you to overeat. Only until minutes later, after your plate is clean, do you realize that you probably ate too much.

Many things in this life were given to us to enjoy, and food definitely tops the list. I encourage you to take the time to appreciate the taste of fresh fruits and vegetables, the wholesomeness of whole grains, and the tenderness of fresh fish or poultry. By default, choosing these foods will slow your eating pace because you have to take more time to chew good foods. If you have ever eaten brown rice, you’ll agree that it takes more time to chew than white rice, which you can almost swallow without chewing. Continue to make the switch to healthier, Mediterranean style foods and your pace with slow naturally. Before you know it, mindful eating will be the norm for you.

In addition, make eating a “meditative art” in which you are fully aware and attentive to every single bite you eat. This way, you will “become one” with whole, healthy foods, and you will be better able to listen for the click, or the signal that tells you to stop eating when appropriate. Make this mental change, and reap the physical results!

What methods do you use to practice mindful eating? Share your comments below!