How many times have you suddenly reached the bottom of a bag of chips or bowl of ice cream, only to realize that… whoa, you ate the whole thing!
All that food is in your stomach, yet because you weren’t paying attention, you missed out on the pleasure of eating it.
And, of course, that makes you crave more.
Eating slowly and devoting your full attention to the flavor and texture of every bite gives your brain time to process. Experiencing your food makes it more enjoyable.
Studies show that mindful eating helps people lose weight, not because they restrain themselves, but because they make thoughtful choices.
The following techniques will help you make the most of every bite:
Put food on a plate, and sit at a table. Take half a minute to put even small snacks on a plate, and sit down before you dig in. It encourages you to pause and acknowledge that you’re about to eat something.
Eat free of distractions. To enjoy your food and feel satisfied, you need to focus on eating, not your phone, a TV screen, or anything else, for that matter.
Eat when you’re hungry, not starving. When you’re too hungry, you just want to eat fast and get rid of that uncomfortable feeling.
Appreciate what went into your food. Consider how that snack or meal got to you: Where was it grown or made? How many people, industries, and steps were in involved? How did you or someone else earn the money to buy it? That food is the result of a lot of work — it’s worthy of your time and attention!
Engage your senses. Color, texture, aroma, sounds, flavors… check in with each sense, one at a time.
Chew more. How many times do you usually chew your food? Test yourself and see. If it’s less than 20, try chewing each bite up to 40 times to release all of its flavor and nutrients.
Put your fork down between bites. Setting your fork down helps you focus on chewing and gives you a chance to check in: Are you still hungry?