Mindful eating: Ever thought about it?
Updated: Nov 19, 2018
Really mindful eating is an incredibly powerful tool, the problem is doing it!
You've probably been hearing a lot about practicing mindfulness in your life. But have you ever thought about using mindfulness while eating?
First things first. Mindfulness, in many cases, is not the hype you’re seeing lately all over the media. It’s not some quick-fix solution to all of life’s problems. While it’s scientifically proven to have beneficial effects, it’s not like a fad diet or magic pill that you take once and change your life forever. It's a way of thinking and living.
Mindfulness is one tool that we can use to wake up from this false reality. Practicing mindfulness can burn off the fog we live in and show us things we never knew before.
Ok let's break it down. Mindfulness defined is simply the act of paying attention. I've thought to myself, yeah I'm always paying attention to what I'm doing, then I find myself walking into the house not remembering the drive there. My mind was filled with the racing thoughts of the thousands of things that I needed to get done before I could finally end my day. How does this idea relate to eating? Think about my drive home and not even remembering getting there, now think about the last time you sat in front of your favorite show that you've been dying to see, you have that bags of chips or bowl of popcorn in your lap, shows over and you look down and the entire container is gone. You swear the dog ate it, because you have no rememberance of taking that many bites.
Then reality sets in, you're trying to manage your weight. You don't want to gain the weight you've worked so hard to lose, so you think I'll just not eat tomorrow, or maybe I'll skip breakfast. Sounds familiar? Or am I the only one suffering from mindless eating?
What do we do? Well the bag of chips are gone, so nothing we can do with that, we simply move one. What we can do something about is our next meal. First get a timer and place it by your plate, and set it for 20 minutes. When you sit down for your next meal turn on the timer and allow yourself to eat in silence for 20 minutes, no phone, no TV, no computer, no spouse, friend or child, nothing except you and the plate in front of you. Notice everything about the food you are eating. What does it look like? What does it smell like? How did this food get to your plate? What does it feel like to chew? Put your fork down between bites and slowly chew the bite in your mouth. What do you notice? What do you notice in eating a meal in silence for 20 minutes? I bet you'll be surprised.