How to make mindful eating a part of your life
The average American spends two-and-a-half hours a day eating, but more than half the time, we’re doing something else too. Because we’re working, driving, reading, watching television, or fiddling with an electronic device, we’re not fully aware of what we’re eating. And this mindless eating—a lack of awareness of the food we’re consuming—may be contributing to the national obesity epidemic and other health issues. The antidote to this issue? Mindful eating.
In essence, mindful eating means being fully attentive to your food—as you buy, prepare, serve, and consume it. The practice can help you refrain from indulging in certain types of unhealthy foods, while also helping you see how the food you eat affects the world around you. In short, this ancient practice can set the stage for a lifetime of healthy eating. Want to make mindful eating a part of your life, follow these 8 steps.
First step: begin with your shopping list. Consider the health value of every item you add to your list and stick to it to avoid impulse buying when you’re shopping.
Second step: come to the table with an appetite—but not when ravenously hungry. This way you avoid the temptation to fill yourself up too fast rather than enjoying your food.
Third step: start with a small portion and add only if necessary.
Fourth step: appreciate your food. Pause for a minute or two before you begin eating to contemplate everything and everyone it took to bring the meal to your table.
Fifth step: bring all your senses to the meal. Be attentive to the color, texture, aroma, and even the sounds of your foods as you prepare and eat them.
Sixth step: take small bites. It’s easier to taste food completely when your mouth isn’t full. Put down your utensil between bites.
Seventh step: chew thoroughly. Chew well until you can taste the essence of the food. You may be surprised at all the flavors that are released.
Last step: eat slowly. If you follow the advice above, you won’t bolt your food down. Devote at least five minutes to mindful eating before you chat with your tablemates. READ MORE
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