6 Tips for Mindful Eating
By Talia Marcheggiani • November 28th, 2012 • 16514 Views
Many of us are guilty of it: We eat fast. Oftentimes we hungrily tuck into a large plate of food only to find ourselves staring at an empty plate, minutes later, our bodies still craving more. Besides eating quickly, while we eat we often need something to do. As if the single act of eating isn’t entertaining enough, we check Twitter, text messages, read the back of cereal boxes, flip through magazines or gaze at coffee-stained newspapers.
However, when we eat quickly, we find that we don’t concentrate on the experience of eating. We let the act pass us by, which can result in decreased feelings of satiety and satisfaction after a meal. Also, in many cases, it results in us eating more than our fill. Eating quickly and “mindlessly” can be attributed to the high rates of irritable bowel syndrome, food allergies and obesity that we see in our population.
One of the best pieces of nutritional advice I’ve received is, rather than focusing on what to eat, we should be focusing on how to eat. So, taking a page from a Buddhist book, here are some tips on how to integrate mindfulness into your eating practice.
Mindful eating is about establishing a connection with food – the act of growing, preparing and mindfully eating the food we ingest every day – to increase the connection we have to our own bodies. It helps us experience the act of eating, become more aware of what and how much we put into our bodies, and cultivating satisfaction and appreciation for the food we eat. Here are some tips to get started:
1. Make each meal a real meal. Rather than eating on the run, straight out of the bag/box or standing up, set out a place-mat (even if you’re alone) and utensils, dole out a portion of food on a plate and sit down to enjoy it. Also, adding a glass of wine can only ever help.
2. Focus on each bite. My grandfather legendarily chews each bite of food 20 times. Well, I’ve tried to do that and found it impossible. However, I find that it helps to simply experience the food in my mouth, the texture and the flavours. I pay attention to the (few) bites I take, experience the mouth-feel of food and appreciate the quality. How many fast-food or processed meals have we raced through only to find that, when eating the same food...