eating experiment

“I’ve learned how to have a much healthier relationship with food,

and how to enjoy my life without obsession about food.”

– Katie Couric


It is difficult to have a stress-free relationship with food when you think the size of your body is wrong.

Think about any other stressful relationship you have- with a parent, a coworker, a friend of your partner…

How does it feel to be around that person? Are you always proud of how you interact with them?


Easing the stress that you are under will not only feel better, it frees you up to make better choices. It helps you to behave in ways that you look back on and know you did the right thing.


Try this mindful eating experiment from Jon Kabat-Zinn and jot down notes afterwards about what you notice. Read along as you go, or read the instructions in full and then fully-focus on the experiment. Give yourself 15-20 minutes for this activity. A raisin can be substituted with a peanut, marshmallow, a craisin, or something similar.

  1. Get one raisin and set it down in front of you.

    STOP; do not throw a handful of raisins into your mouth.

  2. Imagine you are new to planet Earth, you have never experienced anything from Earth. Because of this, you have no judgments, fears, or expectations. Everything is brand new. Take a few deep breaths, let your jaw release and drop your shoulders.

  3. Look at the raisin and pick it up.

  4. Feel its weight.

  5. Examine its surface—the various ridges, shiny parts, dull parts, coloring; really look for the first time at this thing.

  6. Smell it  and notice how you react.

  7. Roll the it between your fingers and listen to hear what sound it makes. Notice its texture.

  8. Notice what you are feeling about this object.

  9. Put it between your lips and let it sit there for a few moments. What do you notice happens inside of you?

  10. Let it roll back into your mouth, but do not chew yet, just roll it around. Is there a taste? Do you salivate? What do you notice happens inside of you?

  11. Bite down, just once. What do you notice?

  12. Very, very slowly begin to chew, noticing what changes with each bite.

  13. Slowly chew the raisin until it is completely liquefied. Do not swallow until it is.

  14. After swallowing, close your eyes for a few moments to notice what happens next inside of you.


Mindful eating (i.e., paying attention to our food, on purpose, moment by moment, without judgment) is an approach to food that focuses on individuals’ sensual awareness of the food and their experience of the food. It has little to do with calories, carbohydrates, fat, or protein. The purpose of mindful eating is not to lose weight, although it is highly likely that those who adopt this style of eating will lose weight. The intention is to help individuals savor the moment and the food and encourage their full presence for the eating experience.