It might sound a bit weird. As if eating in a mindful state would be something complicated. It’s really not. It’s just about being (really) present when you eat, listening to your body’s signals, and better appreciating what you’re eating.
How? By letting all of your senses register the food and the experience. What does the food look like? How does it feel on your tongue, on your palate? How does it smell? How does it REALLY taste? How does it sound when you take a bite? Pay attention to the colors, textures, aromas, flavors, temperatures and sounds. It’s a completely new experience each time. Once again, food is magic.
Slowing down, being more conscious about the food that you’re eating – and all of its characteristics – will not only make you appreciate the food more, you will also help your body to better absorb all the nutrition in the food. And, you’re more likely to eat the amount of food that your body is really asking for instead of over eating. But note – mindful eating is not a diet – it’s about getting to know your body.
Ever heard about hunger? Or, simply put, hormones flushing through your body telling you that you’re ready to process some more food. Sometimes we eat only because we “should” or because the clock says so – and not because we actually need more food. Mindful eating has helped me sort through all the emotions and recognize the feeling of hunger. Of course, I still give in to cravings once in a while and I eat when I’m not really hungry. It’s not about setting up rules – it’s about finding balance.
Mindful eating in 4 steps
- Turn off your television, computer and smartphone. And try to put away your favorite book while eating.
- Give yourself time to eat. Take a look at the food before digging in. Try to be fully aware of your senses.
- Before you eat, take a deep breath and tell your body you’re at ease – and in for a treat!
- Put down the fork/knife/spoon/hand between bites. Slow down and give yourself the chance to savor what is already in your mouth.
Enjoy every bite!