Mindful eating is the act of becoming aware of what we eat; how that food looks, tastes and feels in our mouth; and how it makes us feel afterward.
When we eat unconsciously, we eat more. Studies allowing people to watch television and eat from a bag of chips or popcorn found that the bag always ended up empty, no matter what the size. You taste the first bite of food, but then you drift into mindless eating and don’t feel as if you ate anything.
The practice of slow, mindful eating is a powerful way to better enjoy your food, lose weight and improve your metabolism. Here are some steps that will help you eat more mindfully:
- Take five breaths before you eat: breath in through your nose and out through your mouth before you take the first bite of your meal. This simple technique will lower your stress hormones (which make you store fat when you eat) and get your digestive system ready to metabolize your food.
- Be grateful: be thankful for the food that you have on your plate and think of what it went through to eventually end up on your plate. This is a powerful healing activity that will change your relationship with food. Also use this as a chance to reprogram any negative associations you have with food or eating (it will make me fat, sick, tired, etc).
- Focus fully on your food: Stop reading your book or magazine, turn away from your laptop, turn off the television and put down your phone. By doing this your body realises that you are busy eating. Your body will then give most of its energy to activate the digestive system and metabolism. If you are running around or sitting in front of your laptop while eating – your body assumes that you are in a stressed state and therefore priority will definitely not be given to digestion. You will be amazed at how this simple act amplifies your dining experience.