Last year I watched The Weight of a Nation on HBO which is a four-part documentary, and really enjoyed the part about Mindful Eating (which is on part 3 of the series). Mindless Eating is basically when you stuff your face and polish off your plate of food without giving it much thought. We don't appreciate, experience or really even truly enjoy the food because it's here and gone so quickly. According to The Center for Mindful Eating, "Mindful eating draws substantially on the use of mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness helps focus our attention and awareness on the present moment, which in turn, helps us disengage from habitual, unsatisfying and unskillful habits and behaviors. Engaging in mindful eating meditation practices on a regular basis can help us discover a far more satisfying relationship to food and eating than we ever imagined or experienced before."
After I watched that documentary I really focused on stopping in between bites, chewing what I was eating to focus on the flavour and feel of it in my mouth and wait until I had swallowed until I took another bite. Yes I do forget A LOT of the time and find myself mindlessly shoveling mounds of food in my mouth, but I am so much better then how I used to be and will hopefully get better with time. If you're like me and want to change the way you eat, one meal at a time, try some of these Mindful Eating Strategies:
2) Don't wait until you're famished
3) Choose food that will satisfy both your body and your mind
4) Eat without distractions
5) Eat when you're sitting down
6) Take a few breaths and center yourself before you begin eating
7) Appreciate the appearance and what looks the most appetizing
8) Appreciate the aroma and tastes of the food when you eat it
9) Pause for 2 minutes in the middle of eating
10) Stop eating as soon as you feel satisfied
There are more tips on amihungry.com and lots of other bits of information too. I think that eating like this is a great idea and would solve a lot of people's eating problems. So many digestive issues alone would be helped by people chewing their food properly and not overeating. Stopping and thinking about why you eat and stop obsessing about it and just enjoying it would be helpful in so many ways.
So next time you're loading your plate with a monster helping of Colander spaghetti, stop and think about what you're doing. Whether it be a plate of spaghetti, a crisp apple or piece of chocolate, be more mindful in your actions and appreciate your body and the nutrients that you fuel it with.
- 2006, The Center for Mindful Eating. http://www.tcme.org/
- 2004-2012 May, Michelle M.D. Mindful Eating: Get Out Of Autopilot. http://amihungry.com/mindful-eating.shtml