As the new year approaches it is the perfect opportunity to review not just what we eat, but also how we eat.

When we give our attention to how we eat there is a natural shift in our consumption as well, but unlike restrictive diets you’re less likely to fail within the first two weeks of January. 

Mindful eating is a compassionate approach that gives us the opportunity to connect to our body and re-centre throughout the day, whenever we eat.  You may struggle to find time for a formal meditation practice but mindful eating gives you an opportunity to bring small practices into even the busiest days. 

So if you’re looking for a new perspective on eating consider these simple five tips for 2024: 

1.    Give your attention to why you eat certain foods. Try keeping a food diary for a week to see what patterns you notice. Are you eating foods for enjoyment, habit, convenience, energy or because you think you ‘should’ be eating them? Knowing your own eating habits is the first step to changing them. 

2.    Pause and connect to your body before eating. This allows you to drop out of your head and into your body and to tune into your hunger levels. You can try rating your hunger on the scale of 1 to 10 and observe what your body needs. You may realise that you need to eat more or less than normal, you may be thirsty, or may notice your emotions. 

3.    Connect to your senses whilst eating. By taking time to look at and smell our food we not only signal to our body that we are about to eat and support digestion, but we are also more likely to feel satiated from our meal. This is because our body has been fully engaged in the process and we are less likely to hunt out food a couple of hours later. 

4.    Consider your eating environment. You may want to experiment with clearing any clutter off your table, lighting a candle before a meal or playing relaxing music to create a nourishing eating environment. Start with one small change that will create calm and try it with one meal of the day. 

5.    Consider where your food is from. Connect to your food by considering where it has come from and all those have been involved in getting the food to your plate. You may want to express a quiet word of thanks and gratitude for your food. This practice can lead into implementing small changes such as identifying fair and ethical choices where you can. 

To explore this approach further, Julia is running a six-week online Empowered Eating course starting January 19 - for more go to 

Julia Alderman BSc, DipION, CNHC, mBANT is a Registered Nutritionist and yoga teacher with over 15 years of clinical experience. She offers personalised nutrition consultations in Salisbury and online, with clients across the globe. As well as her clinical work she also runs wellness workshops, courses and retreats.