Does your food seem to disappear without you smelling, tasting or truly enjoying the pleasure of a good meal? Mindful eating is a way of eating that can translate into a significant health improvement for everyone in your family. It involves lifestyle changes that you can follow forever, and at no cost. Mindful eating teaches people how to avoid the opposite, mindless eating. Mindful eating requires that you shut off the computer, TV, or electronic devices and put down reading material. It requires that you sit down at the table, portion and plate foods versus bag, counter or car eating. Minus these distractions, you slowly become more in tune to your body’s hunger and fullness (satiety) cues and more appreciative of the meal before you.
People who eat mindlessly often eat in a rushed, panicked or tense manner. They don’t relax during a meal; rather they chew very little and swallow in large chunks. It takes 20 minutes for the stomach to signal the brain that it has had enough. A mindless eater is typically the 1st one done, and reaching for dessert because their stomach brain relay is still in midcourse. Many mindless eaters also need to harness responses to emotions (angry, sad, bored, and happy), society pressures (time is everything, thin is in) and specific foods (chips & cheese, ice cream, chocolate).
Select foods based on quality not quantity. Make sure they appeal to your sense of smell, taste, and are visually appealing. Mindful eating does not require that you eat certain foods just because they are good for you, in fact you shouldn’t eat foods that you don’t like. It is most important to enjoy your meal from beginning to end, savoring each bite, listening to body cues, eating slowly and as a result not overeating. What do you think? Should a change to mindful eating be in your 2010 plan?