Have you ever suddenly had the recognition that you were mindlessly eating stop you in your tracks. It happens way too often. People simply eat out of habit, walking past the candy dish and grabbing a handful of candy, shoveling down a meal to get to the next project and basically not enjoying any of the food. Eating out of habit can indicate frustration or simply giving your hands something to do. To enjoy your meal more and develop healthier habits, you need to be mindful at mealtime.
It’s not hard to describe what mindful eating is.
If you’ve ever noticed yourself eating mindlessly, you probably won’t have a problem identifying what eating mindfully is. It’s taking your attention away from everything else and centering it on the flavor, texture and pleasure you have with every bite. It’s eating food slowly, but not focusing on how slow to eat it, but rather the features and flavors of the food to slow your eating process. Learn to savor and enjoy every bite.
People who are overweight too often feel shame when they eat.
Too often people who have to lose weight feel they need to justify every bite of food. If they eat dessert, they shovel it down, as though they’re getting it down before others notice. The problem is that by doing that, they get no pleasure. No matter what weight you are, you have to eat, so enjoy every bite. Make sure you’re physically hungry when you do and then consume your food without guilt. If you find you’re really not hungry, identify the emotion that is driving you to eat and what foods you’re choosing when it occurs.
You’ll be surprised at the difference your attitude about food will change.
Food is neither the enemy, nor your friend. It’s not meant to console you or punish you. It’s to be enjoyed and help you maintain a healthy body. To enjoy it, you have to slow your intake, savor every bite and appreciate the various flavors you taste. If you eat too fast, you not only lose that opportunity, you don’t give your body time to tell your brain that it’s full and you overeat. That message to your brain takes about twenty minutes.
- Keeping a food diary can help. You can write down the flavors, what you’re experiencing and what you felt before you ate any particular food, which aids you in identifying emotional eating.
- Knowing your triggers, such as anger or sadness, will help you deal rationally with them, rather than trying to stuff them deeper with food. It helps you stop eating your feelings.
- Traditional weight loss programs often leave people more hungry than they normally would be. It makes them feel deprived. However, when you eat a healthy diet mindfully, you feel satisfied at the end of the meal.
- A study found that people who participated in a six-months seminar about eating mindfully provided a more lasting weight loss, which averaged 26-pounds.
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