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Mindful eating for weight loss quiz

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What is mindful eating?

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What is mindful eating?

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Mindful eating means much more than eating slowly without distractions. It's a practice that addresses your relationship with food and encompasses the entire eating process. That includes recognising appetite triggers, healthy or unhealthy food choices, and paying attention to how, when and what you eat. Key questions to ask yourself are:

  • Why am I eating?
  • When am I eating?
  • What am I eating?
  • How am I eating?
  • How much am I eating?
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Mindfulness stems from the Buddhist practice of meditation.

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Mindfulness stems from the Buddhist practice of meditation.

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Buddhists have long practiced the art of meditation that involves 'being in the moment'. This state of 'being' or 'wakefulness' tries to achieve a different perspective on your experiences by a process of self-observation. The goal is to get rid of negative and judgemental thoughts and develop more accepting, positive ways of being. With practice, proponents believe this can foster a profoundly peaceful and energised state of mind, while overcoming anxiety, fear and confusion. Mindfulness can be applied to everything from exercise to sex, as well as eating.

'Mindless' eating can result in:

'Mindless' eating can result in:

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Emotions like stress, sadness and boredom can promote 'mindless' eating. You may carelessly overeat as you cook, or finish off leftovers. You may polish off a bag of crisps as you distractedly watch TV, or help yourself to one too many biscuits at a busy work meeting. Cravings do damage too. According to some psychologists, women tend to crave sweet foods, while men tend to crave meat and salty snacks. Teach yourself to pay attention to whether you are genuinely hungry, or if the need to eat is more emotional than physical. Being mindful about what you eat can help you recognise your triggers and resist the urge to overindulge or eat unhealthily.

Can mindful eating help with weight loss?

Can mindful eating help with weight loss?

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There is some evidence that mindful eating can help with weight loss, but more definitive research is needed. Studies so far suggest it may help steer people away from unhealthy choices towards more healthy ones. Studies have also shown some success among binge eaters who tried mindful eating techniques. Most actually enjoyed food more and struggled less with controlling eating impulses.

Which of these can help avoid food cravings?

Which of these can help avoid food cravings?

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  • Correct Answer:

Be aware that craving certain foods is not usually triggered by hunger. The urge to wolf down some chocolate or a bag of peanuts usually comes from your brain not your stomach. Mood also plays a part, so you may crave food when you are sad, or need a shot of energy. Some therapists suggest distraction techniques when cravings hit. It can be anything from chewing gum to finger tapping, or running yourself a bubble bath. The key is to find something pleasurable to replace the craving for food.

Mindful eating does NOT involve:

Mindful eating does NOT involve:

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Mindful eating is not about sticking to a specific diet, or cutting back on certain foods. Restricting food is contrary to the mindful eating concept, as it usually involves a negative emotional message about your behaviour. Proponents say that kind of thinking can actually sabotage your diet and eating habits. In other words, it is OK to allow yourself the pleasure of eating a bag of crisps once in a while. The key is to be careful about how much high fat or high salt food you eat, and also to eat more slowly, so that you don't overdo it.

Which of these can disrupt mindful eating?

Which of these can disrupt mindful eating?

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Anything that takes your mind off focusing on your food can derail your attempts to eat mindfully. Drinking alcohol, especially in a social setting, can affect your judgement, sharpen your appetite and result in mindless over-eating. Clutter on your dining table can distract you from your meal, as can eating at your work desk. Try to avoid setting yourself up to fail, by avoiding meal distractions and setting aside time for a peaceful, focused and healthy mealtime.

Which of the below is part of the mindful eating technique "tasting deeply"?

Which of the below is part of the mindful eating technique "tasting deeply"?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Tasting deeply means paying full attention to the food you are eating. As well as noticing the colour, shape and texture of your food, it includes:

  • Choosing each small piece carefully
  • Enjoying the appearance and aroma of food before eating
  • Concentrating while eating, try to use all five senses to appreciate food
  • Chewing food thoroughly and taking note of the aftertaste

What is the S.T.O.P method?

What is the S.T.O.P method?

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The STOP acronym refers to Savour, Travel, Observe and Pause.

Savour : To enjoy the flavour and sensation of every bite.

Travel : Refers to visualising fields, farms, oceans or gardens where food may have been harvested.

Observe : To be in tune with every part of your body as you eat, from your tongue tasting, to your teeth chewing, including the path to swallowing and digestion.

Pause : Refers to pausing briefly before taking your next bite, pausing again before you chew and again as you prepare to bite again. The goal is to fully appreciate the eating experience.

Which type of meal is recommended in the practice of mindful eating?

Which type of meal is recommended in the practice of mindful eating?

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  • Correct Answer:

The objective here is to teach yourself to slow down and allow your body sufficient time to start breaking down food. It takes at least 20 minutes for nutrients to make their way into the bloodstream once you start eating. The technique involves setting a timer for 25 minutes, and to start counting down at your first bite. Chew slowly and pause to allow time to pass. At about 12 minutes, you should have about half the meal left on your plate. Slow down if you have more than that. Stop eating when the time is up.

On a scale of 1-10 how full should I be after a meal?

On a scale of 1-10 how full should I be after a meal?

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It is easy to eat beyond fullness when your mind is wandering. As well as extending the time it takes to finish by eating slowly, pay attention to how full you are feeling. On a scale of 1–10, with 1 being famished and 10 being uncomfortably full, you should aim at between 5-7. So, you could eat more, but you don't need to.

Guilt is good when it comes to mindful eating.

Guilt is good when it comes to mindful eating.

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Going on a guilt trip after over-indulging doesn't fit with the mindful eating philosophy. You're trying to avoid negative emotions linked to your relationship with food, so beating yourself up over too much chocolate won't help matters. Instead, experts suggest taking a mental note that you probably over-indulged, choose to learn from it, and change your behaviour when the next temptation comes around.

The best way to approach mindful eating is to accept:

The best way to approach mindful eating is to accept:

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Seeing food as your enemy is not a smart choice. We all need nutrition to survive and thrive, so it's probably a good idea to forge a healthy relationship with what we eat. In the UK over-indulgence and obesity exist alongside a widespread obsession with body image and dieting, making our relationship with food often a fraught and dysfunctional one. The practice of mindful eating is a welcome alternative. So, listen to your body, embrace the food you love, make better choices and hopefully see a fitter, healthier you as a result!

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Your Score:   You correctly answered   out of   questions.
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