Mindful eating is a powerful thing! Unfortunately, mindless eating is the norm.
We've all done it ... eaten something on the run without taking the time to enjoy it or even consciously realize that we are eating.
Or eaten an entire bag of potato chips while sitting in front of the tv. And let's not get started on those cookie tales.
For me, the object of my mindless eating was Reese's Peanut Butter cups. I cringe to think about how many calories a day I used to mindlessly eat just in candy alone.
Studies have shown that distracted eaters weigh an average of 18% more than mindful eaters.
Below are 10 tips to get you on the path to mindful eating.
When we focus on the food, our brain becomes more satiated. Turn off the TV, put down your cell phone and get away from that computer to maximize your eating pleasure.
Use all your senses (including common sense). Look at the food. Smell the food. Feel the texture of the food. Taste the food. And listen to the sounds it makes as you eat it. Be curious as to all the details.
My mother always used to ask me, "are you going to take a breath?" as I scarfed down my meal. Putting your fork down between bites will definitely slow you down.
Need more help slowing down? Then try eating with chopsticks or your "other" hand. But please, put a napkin on your lap, on your blouse, and everywhere else. I don't want to be responsible for ruining your clothing.
Your final bite should be one that creates an absolute food orgasm. Pick it in advance. Strategically place it on your plate and ceremoniously eat it to mark the end of another great meal.
Sit. Stay. Eat. And I don't mean in the car. Stop multi-tasking your life. You deserve a peaceful time to eat and to enjoy your food. Give yourself that small gift, even if it's only 15 minutes.
Plates have grown and grown over the decades and this has led to portion distortion. Eating off a smaller plate will help control portions and trick your mind into thinking you ate more than you did.
Being stuffed (think all-you-can-eat buffet type stuffed) is extremely uncomfortable. It takes your stomach 20 minutes to tell your brain it's full, so give it time and space. Shoot for 80% full.
There are several good reasons for this one, including avoiding choking which would suck. This practice slows you down and helps you enjoy what you're eating.
And drink your soup instead of using a spoon, too. Our taste buds light up more when food is placed directly on our tongue rather than having a spoon as the middleman. Don't believe me? Try it. You'll agree.
So there you have it. Ten easy ways to begin mindful eating.