What is mindful eating? It’s simple. It’s taking the time to truly enjoy your food. If you’re a speed eater and can suck up an entire meal in no time, it’s time to change your course and learn to enjoy food. Some people have such a busy schedule, they either eat their meal fast or eat it while they’re doing other things. That takes away from the pleasure of eating. If you wolf down your food, you certainly aren’t experiencing any of the subtleties of the food, like its flavor, texture, and appearance. You also eat more than you probably intend when you have more time to eat.
Mindless eating can also include eating food without realizing it.
Have you ever been to a party with snack food and realized that every time you passed the food table, which was quite often, you ate another handful of chips? Maybe you cleaned the leftovers from the meal by eating those last few bites or snacked on anything available when you’re under stress, angry or frustrated. All that mindless eating not only robs you of the pleasure of food, but it can also pack on the pounds.
Be in the present at mealtime.
That might sound Confucius-like, but don’t ignore it. A lot of the food most people eat is done mindlessly. Spend a week writing down everything you eat. It will make you more aware of those snacks that you otherwise wouldn’t remember. Once you’ve identified those times, now focus on what the food tastes like when you eat. What is the texture? Is it sweet? Sour? How does it feel in your mouth while you eat it? Savor it, chew it well, and eat it more slowly.
If you are embarrassed by your weight, you may eat rapidly, so no one will notice.
There are many reasons for people to eat rapidly. Most of them fall back on habits or hunger. If you work a job with a short lunch hour, you may develop the habit of eating rapidly so you can get back to work. However, some people, particularly those who are overweight, have shamed themselves into feeling embarrassed every time they eat, so they eat fast, just to get it out of the way. Eating fast removes all the pleasure from eating good food. It also doesn’t give your stomach a chance to signal to the brain that it’s full, so you eat more.
- Both texture and taste play a huge role in whether you enjoy food or not. If you’ve kept a food journal, you may notice that when you’re under stress you like crunchy things or comfort food. Find low-calorie alternatives, like celery instead of potato chips.
- Chewing your food more allows you to savor the flavor, and aids your digestion in the process. The longer you chew your food, the more digestion takes place in the mouth, resulting in fewer digestive issues.
- Tracking the food you eat and focusing on the pleasure it brings not only helps you eat healthier and enjoy food more, but it also can bring issues to light. It helps you identify what really bothers you, and you are burying with eating.
- Mindful eating has proven to help people take-off weight and keep it from returning. One group that attended a six-month course on mindful eating not only lost an average of 26 pounds, but they didn’t regain it later.
For more information, contact us today at VIP Fitness Center