Many times people eat and are not really paying attention to what they are eating. It seems everyone wants to “multi-task” and that usually involves eating while watching TV, while driving a car, while talking on the phone, while working…. When this happens, some people tend to overeat, not paying attention to the amount or type of food they are eating.
There is some research describing the importance of mindful eating and weight control. Jean Kristeller at Indiana University has been involved in research on binge eating and mindfulness. According to Kristeller, mindfulness helps people recognize the difference between physical and emotional hunger. Also, people may enjoy their food more if they slow down, really taste it, and pay more attention to what they are eating.
Some techniques that help with Mindful Eating are:
- Slow down. Take at least 20 minutes for the meal. Plan your day so you have time to eat. One suggestion has been to set a kitchen timer for 20 minutes and take that time to eat your meal.
- Ask yourself if you are truly hungry! (or do you just want to eat?)
- Get rid of distractions while you eat.
- Chew food thoroughly.
- Practice meditation.
- While you are eating, notice the colors, smells, flavors, and textures of food.
The bottom line is to enjoy your food, pay attention to the experience, and avoid eating just to eat or out of habit.