Mindful eating is not a new concept. It has roots in Buddhism and has been studied as a way to combat eating disorders.
Eating mindfully is more important now than ever. I was shocked to come across an article that said all humans will be obese by the year 2075. With our busy lifestyles we are all guilty of eating on the run. This often results in eating too fast, eating while working, and making unhealthy meal choices. If we are to combat obesity and live happy, healthy long lives we need to practice Mindful Eating now. How it works:
1. Pay attention to your body. Ask yourself if you are really hungry, of if there is another reason you want to eat. Notice when you are starting to feel full and then stop eating just as you feel full.
2. Eat slowly. Take time to chew your food and savor each bite. Smell the aroma of your food. Take time to notice the shapes and colors on your plate. It is important to eat slowly so that your body has enough time to register the food you ingest. If you eat too quickly you will miss the flavor and texture of food in your mouth, and risk overeating.
3. Avoid eating during other activities. So many of us eat while watching television or working at the computer. People who eat during other activities tend to be unaware of how much they eat.
4. Don’t eat when stressed. Stress can compromise digestion and cause heartburn. If you are feeling stressed before a meal, try taking a few deep breaths, light a candle and play soothing music to help you relax.
5. Eat simply, healthy foods. Some nutrition experts say that you should not have more than 5 ingredients at any meal. This is important concept for mindful eating. By eating simple, healthy food with fewer ingredients you are better able to taste (and name) each ingredient. Who knows what Polysorbate 80 tastes like? I don’t and I don’t want to know.
Whether you want to lost weight or just be healthy and live a long life, Mindful Eating is an essential practice to achieving these goals. Do you remember what you ate today?