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A Mindful Chocolate Meditation

OAKLAND, Calif., Oct. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Walk into any grocery store and there's likely to be a Halloween aisle brimming over with candy. Those who struggle with mindless eating have already begun to wonder how they'll stay clear of trick-or-treat sweets. Many people find that Halloween spurs a particularly tough time of the year, and as the holidays keep coming, it only becomes more challenging. Dieters, mindless eaters, self-described chocoholics, and others wonder how will they survive yet another holiday season.

Susan Albers, a psychologist and author of Eat, Drink, and Be Mindful, recommends that people practice a mindful chocolate meditation. She doesn't believe people should avoid chocolate, or other trigger foods, completely. Not only would that not be fun, but it also isn't realistic. Instead, she advocates that people eat candy and other foods they crave in a new way. "The problem is that people often think about eating the next piece of candy before they've even finished enjoying the one they have," Dr. Albers says. "Then they feel unsatisfied and go for more." She acknowledges that learning to eat foods mindful might not be easy, but it is worth it.

Dr. Albers recommends that as people practice the exercise, they get into a comfortable position, notice what emotions arise, and use all of their senses. Some of the steps are:

1. Notice the weight of a piece of chocolate in your hand.

2. Observe the shape and color.

3. As you unwrap it, listen to the crinkle of the foil or paper.

4. Bring the chocolate up to your nose, and inhale deeply. Notice what

thoughts come in your mind as you do this. Let the thoughts come and


5. Place the chocolate in your mouth. Notice the flavor, richness, and


People will notice that when they slow down long enough to be present while consuming chocolate, they can fully taste each piece instead of scarfing it down. When people are mindful, they naturally eat less chocolate and other trigger foods. Their fear of uncontrollably eating every piece of Halloween candy will lessen, and they'll be able to fully enjoy the experience.

Susan Albers, Psy.D., is a licensed psychologist who specializes in eating issues, weight loss, body image concerns, and mindfulness. Albers conducts mindful eating workshops nationally and internationally. Eat, Drink & Be Mindful: How to End Your Struggle with Mindless Eating and Start Savoring Food with Intention and Joy will be published January 2009 and is available for pre-order on You can find her online at

SOURCE Eat, Drink, and Be Mindful
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