According to Harvard Medical School, eating while preoccupied with other activities can contribute to an increase in weight gain. However, paying attention and actually enjoying your meal may be one of the keys to actually burning off that fat.
What is Mindful Eating?
Mindful eating is the process of paying attention to and concentrating on the details of what you are eating and the entire experience. Instead of quickly eating a burrito while sitting in front of the computer and completing a report at lunch, mindful eating requires setting aside time to eat while doing nothing else. Mindful eating means taking the time to savor and taste each bite of food. It requires eaters to slow down and chew each bite of food and pay attention to the textures and tastes in their meal.
According to the Harvard Medical School Newsletter, a number of studies have been completed that indicate mindful eating approaches can help people lose weight and is a viable treatment option for binge eating issues. Using mindful eating approaches slows down the eating process, which allows the body to send messages to the brain when you have eaten enough food and are satisfied. It also provides a sense of control over the eating process and often reduces the amount of food a person eats at each meal.
Here are some tips for mindful eating:
- Set aside at least 20 minutes for each meal. Using a timer can be a good way to monitor your time.
- Start by eating silently for the first five minutes. During this time, pay attention to what you are tasting and what it feels like in your mouth. You can also think about the process of making your meal, from planting the food to putting each food item on the plate.
- Eat in small bites and chew each bite completely.
- Before you open a kitchen cabinet or refrigerator, ask yourself if you are really hungry or some other emotion or feeling is driving your urge to eat.
If you slow yourself down and think about what you are eating, focus your entire attention on the process, you may find it easier to eat less and lose weight. You may also find that eating becomes a more meaningful activity throughout your entire day.
Do you practice mindful eating or do you find yourself eating while you are preoccupied with other things while you try to grab a meal?
– The Alternative Daily