Rushing through meals, barely acknowledging the food you put in your mouth, deprives you of the pleasure of eating and may impact your health. When you eat mindlessly, you risk overeating because your brain isn’t tuned in to what you’re consuming. You’re also less aware of the cues that let you know you’re full.
In contrast, when you eat mindfully, you become more aware of when you’ve had enough to eat. You’re also more aware of the food choices you make, which can help you improve your health. In fact, a study in the Journal of Obesity found that the more participants practiced mindful eating, the greater their ability to reduce anxiety and avoid eating in response to emotions. That helped them lose weight in the abdominal area.
So take your time at your next meal today. Try these steps toward more mindful eating:
- Be mindful of food prior to eating it. Before you eat something, silently do the following for 30 seconds: Look closely at your food, noticing the colors and shapes. Enjoy the aroma. Consider all the plants and animals that are part of the food. Acknowledge the effort of everyone who was involved in making the food. Envision yourself eating the food mindfully with attention.
- Take mindful bites. Be aware of your movements as you bring food to your mouth. While you chew, put your hands or silverware down. Pay attention to the taste and texture of the food and to the act of chewing. After swallowing, pause for a few seconds before eating more.
- Mind your chews. Pay attention to how many chews it takes for you to eat a particular food. To do this, take a bite of food and then count the number of chews it takes you to completely chew it up. This practice can help you focus on the act of eating when your attention is wandering.
- Article from the StayWell Company, LLC