How to eat in a mindful way and reap the benefits
One of the reasons so many people are overweight is that people tend to eat without paying attention to what they are actually doing. They do not think about what they are eating, when they are eating, or why they are eating – much less how.
Eating mindfully requires planning and thought. When done properly, people tend to eat higher-quality food that contains more nutrients, but less of it. Fewer calories equals weight loss with minimal to zero effort on your part. Great!
Mindful eating requires a certain approach- let’s look.
Eat only when hungry
This seems simple enough, but we’ve been trained since birth to eat at certain times. Mealtimes are really pretty arbitrary, mainly designed for the needs of working people who could only eat at these certain times, dictated by the demands of industry and commerce. However, if you plan to eat only when truly hungry, you need to listen to what your body is saying.
Make eating a special event which means no TV and no phones
Even if you eat in the living room around the coffee table, you can make eating an event by always planning what you’ll eat, where you’ll eat it, and how you’ll eat it. Plus, you should know why you are eating something too. So often I see people in restaurants staring at their phones and shoveling food into their mouths like train drivers feeding coal into a steam train boiler- endlessly and without appreciating the moment.
Plan your meals
Take the time to plan healthy and good-tasting meals that you know you can prepare easily. If you can’t take the time to do that and can afford it, sign up for one of the meal plan boxes that have either done all the prep work or that allow you to just heat it up. Be careful with too many ready meals- they can be deficient in essential nutrients so use with caution and only when necessary. Freshly prepared food is always the preference.
Set the Table
Put some flowers on the table, your nice plates, and add some ambiance to your meals. It doesn’t take long to just add a few little touches to make the meal feel special. After all, it is special to be able to eat so well. Make it special because you are special.
Prepare only the best food
Don’t pick food that just stops hunger. It should taste delicious and be healthy. Most people think this is impossible or expensive but it’s not. Good food tastes good and yours should be no different.
Don’t bother preparing food that you don’t like. You want to take the time to enjoy every single bite. Notice the way it looks, the vibrant colors. Notice the way it smells, the fragrant spices. Notice how it feels in your mouth- the texture. The more you can enjoy all those aspects, the better. Mix it up- take the occasional juice or smoothie. If you don’t feel like eating, don’t. there’s no law that says you must!
Eat and chew slowly
When you are eating, don’t rush through your meals. Instead, enjoy each bite on its own and chew and eat slowly. It should take you at least 20 minutes to eat a normal meal. Try to put your knife and fork down between mouthfuls. There is a significant time lag of several minutes between your stomach getting full and your brain receiving the signal that it’s time to stop. If you allow you body to do the thing it is designed to, you lose weight naturally and easily.
If you want to practice mindful eating, start with trying to eat only when you are truly hungry, then eating high-quality food to curb the hunger. As you move along making eating a real event, you’ll find that you truly enjoy mindful eating.