Mindful eating is based on the Buddhist concept of mindfulness – being fully aware of what is around you at the moment. It encompasses the idea that thinking about food and the way we eat means we will eat less. The how you eat is as important as what you eat. Mindful eating also fits with research into satiety and the cues letting us know we’ve had enough, it’s time to stop eating. It can take around 20 minutes for those messages to kick in no matter how much we’ve eaten, so the slowing down encouraged by mindful eating gives the satiety signal time to work. If you eat fast you can pack in a lot of food in 20 minutes!
So how do you change habits and become a mindful eater?
Put away the phones, tablets, notebooks and switch off the TV. Eat without distractions. Save dinner in front of the TV for a special treat or a family movie night.
Eat sitting down
It’s a bit like the old adage; if you want to have a quick efficient meeting don’t let anyone sit. If you want to slow down and enjoy a meal you need to be comfortable.
Chew food well
Chew each mouthful at least 10 – 15 times.