What does it mean to “eat mindfully”?
Eating mindfully means taking the time to focus on what you are eating. It means noticing the taste, look and smell of the food which in turn makes it more fulfilling and enjoyable to eat.
The next time you eat a snack or meal, take a minute to notice how it looks. Is the bagel soft, is the toast crunchy, is the apple bright red or the chicken a nice golden brown. Next notice how the food smells. Does it sweet, spicy, rich and creamy or does it have a pungent smell. Now take a bite, a small bite and keep the food on your tongue for a moment before swallowing it. Notice how the flavors are affecting your taste buds. Is it sweet, salty, sour or bitter? Now take time to chew the food and notice how flavorful it feels. Is there butter or a creamy sauce on it that makes it taste rich and smooth or is there a hint of pepper and seasonings that perk up the senses. Finally, after you swallow the morsel, notice how fulfilling that bite just tasted. Did that bite of food taste better to you?
It is important in our busy, on the go, hectic lives to take the time to enjoy food. Food is our nourishment, it sustains us and keeps us moving and meeting our goals. Food nourishes us and gives us energy to play sports, study for a test or any number of tasks that we ask of our bodies each day.
By eating on the go, while watching TV, playing on the computer, talking on the phone, driving in the car, walking to class or any number of other things we multitask while eating, we do ourselves and our bodies a disservice.
- We don’t fully appreciate and enjoy the food.
- We don’t feel as satisfied with the meal/snack.
- We feel hungry soon after because our mind wasn’t fully focused on the meal and still thinks its hungry.
- We tend to overeat when we don’t pay attention to what we’re eating and when we eat while we’re distracted.
So when you eat your next meal or snack, try to be more mindful of what and how you’re eating.
Your body will thank you for it!