We live in a very busy, active world where multitasking is the expected way to move through life. Often, my challenge to my clients is to slow down and practice mindful eating. Mindful eating means being fully present while filling our bellies. This practice is recommended for snacking as well as meals because research has shown that people who eat while distracted are inclined to eat more. Below are some ideas to help you down the road to mindful eating.
- Before you start eating, ask yourself if you are really hungry. If the answer is “no” try to determine what it is you actually need and focus on fulfilling that need without food.
- Chew your food slowly and until it is fully broken apart. Some recommendations I have seen suggest chewing each bite 30-40 times before swallowing.
- Consciously notice the flavor, texture and smell of your food while diving into your meal.
- Do nothing else but eat while enjoying your meal. No tv, computers or reading.
- Stop half way through your meal and ask yourself if you are still enjoying your food and if you are still hungry. Feel free to pack up food for your next meal if the answer is no.
- Stop eating at the first sign of feeling full.
For most of us, these recommendations represent a significant departure from how we have eaten in the past. Try tackling one of these changes at a time until it feels like a natural part of your day.
Photo from flickr.