It’s time to eat. Your stomach is growling. You are so hungry that all you can think about is food. You sit down and dive into your meal. As you eat you also do one of the following: chat with your spouse, coworker, family member, or friend; watch TV; check your email; surf the internet; read; talk on the phone; drive a car.
We all do it. We are multi-taskers and doing two things (or more) at once has become the norm. The next time this happens, take a moment to notice something. After you finish eating, think about how much you actually tasted the food that you ate. Many of us go through the motions with-out really stopping to taste, savor and enjoy the meal. Eating has become almost like breathing—we do it without even thinking about it. This can be dangerous. If we are not truly paying attention to our eating, we may miss our “fullness” cues and run the risk of over eating.
The next time you sit down to a meal, try this experiment:
1. Get everything you need for the meal before you begin—napkin, silverware, drink, etc.
2. Eat alone with no distractions—no TV, no cell phone, no people.—just you and your delicious yummies.
3. Sit at a table, not at your desk, in the car, or on the couch.
4. Savor the flavor. Begin by taking the first bite and real-ly thinking about what the food tastes like. How does it feel in your mouth? No-tice the texture, the taste and the temperature. Eat slowly. Set your fork down as you chew. Be present in the moment.
5. Think only about the food that you are eating. Focus on how you feel about eating this meal. Is it good? What is good about it? What are your favorite aspects?
6. Continue on with each bite of the meal. If your mind wanders, bring it back to the present. Think about the nutrients in the food that you chose (hopefully you chose healthy food!) and how they nourish your body.
It can be difficult to eat mindful-ly because we are used to being on the go, or doing multiple things at once. If we consciously take time to enjoy the food we eat, we may find we feel satis-fied, full, and content—often while consuming less food.
Take time today to enjoy and experience your food.