For many people, mindless eating also means fast eating…. and fast eating often means eating more than we should because, in our haste, we miss important hunger and fullness signals.
If you’re looking to lose weight, the solution may be to slow down and tune in. Turn off the television, shut down Facebook, close the latest news headlines and….. just eat. Give yourself the time and space to focus on your meal and eat at a reasonable pace. Channel your inner-latin-lover and get sensual with your food. Chew slowly, sniff and savour your food……mmmmmm….. delicious!
When we slow down and savour our food, we naturally cultivate greater appetite awareness. You remember Appetite Awareness 101 – that class that you took in school that taught you all about your personal physiological hunger and fullness cues? Hmmmm…. that’s funny……neither do I.
As adults most of us aren’t educated about appetite awareness. Very few of us begin eating when we’re truly hungry and stop when we’re satisfied. Instead most of us eat according to social norms. We eat because the clock says it’s time to eat, or when someone’s birthday tells us it’s time to eat cake, or when we’re bored or when we see that advertisement for that latest connoisseur ice-cream and – darn, now I want something sweet and creamy.
Yet this habit of tuning in to satiety is a trait of naturally lean people. When we eat mindfully, we are able to pay attention to both physiological hunger and fullness cues and our body naturally regulates our intake and energy balance.
Although mindful eating is correlated with a healthy body weight, it’s not a diet and it’s not about going without. In fact, the opposite is true. In a time when so many of us have an adversarial relationship with food, mindful eating affords us the opportunity to make friends with food again, to give it our full attention, to appreciate it and to derive great pleasure from it.
In the 365 Nutrition Coaching program, we ask people to experiment with elements of mindful eating. We have received comments ranging from, ”I ate so much less” through to “I never noticed how sweet cucumber is” and “raisins make noises when you squeeze them!”.
So this week, I invite you to experiment with ways to bring awareness and enjoyment to your eating experience. Here’s are some tips to get you started….