In our fast-paced society, most of us fall prey to multi-tasking, even when we eat! I admit that there are times when I am racing from presentation to presentation and have to eat while I’m driving. But you know what? Mindful eating is so important and I try to eat mindfully and encourage my clients to do as much as possible.
Step 1: Arrive at your food
Arriving at food means that we become aware before a meal or snack that food has come into our personal space. Take 30 Seconds and assess the colors, shapes, arrangements, smells, names of the food you are about to eat. This sounds simple, but actually it’s more difficult than you might think. Sometimes we can be eating and not even know that we’ve made a choice to eat.
Step 2: Awaken to your food
Awakening to food means that we pay attention to all the aspects of food. When we awaken, we notice the sensations of the food, such as taste, change of flavors, texture and aromas. We can also look deeper to see the effort, resources and sacrifices within each food as well. A mindful eater spends at least one moment during each bite waking up to some aspect of the food.
Step 3: Tune into your body
Mindful eaters pay close attention to themselves as they eat. Become aware of how many chews it takes for you to chew your food completely. Have a “baseline” number of chews for eat bite. I suggest aiming for at least 10 chews per bite.
Step 4: Your surrounding
Mindful eating includes being aware of all the activities that surround food and eating. Setting the table, clearing the table, loading the dishwasher, and putting away leftovers are all part of eating. When we adopt a careful, deliberate way of behaving with any action involving food, we help ourselves stay in the moment and heighten the degree by which we honor food. You may want to set a calming ambience like lighting candles before you eat.
So, before you eat your dinner in front of TV again or eat your breakfast rushing out the door, try a practice of mindfulness when it comes to eating. At least try this practice at least once a day. It will help your feel truly amazing! And when you eat mindfully, you tend to eat healthier too!