Monday, April 9, 2012

Mindful Eating

We are all guilty of it at one moment or another. Eating mindlessly in front of the TV, computer, at our desks while chatting with co-workers, and even at the dinner table. We get so caught up with what we are doing that we eat on auto pilot.

Ever drive home from work and 15 minutes into the drive think, I don't remember crossing that street? Did I blow a red light? Well the same thing happens when we eat without thinking.

To make matters worse, when we eat mindlessly we tend to over do it. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to register that you are full. So if you scarf down your food in 10 minutes while you are surfing the internet you may still feel hungry afterwards. You'll be inclined to help yourself to more food and repeat the process again. The second time around though, you'll probably feel stuffed in the end and guilty that you have overeaten.

This reminds me of a certain story I would read to my son when he was little about the mouse and the cookie...

Now, ever stop by the grocery store and pick up your favorite sweet treat then go home and get comfy in your pj's before shooing the kids away then sitting down to enjoy it?

Is that just me...?

Anyhoo, that is the idea behind mindful eating. It can get really involved though, to the point of honing in on your five senses, your thoughts and feelings (almost meditating) as you savor your food in peace and quiet.

If meditating at dinner time with two kids bickering at the table is not your cup of tea then try these simple suggestions from Martha Beck, author and life coach:

1. Take five deep in-and-out breaths after you sit down at the table and before you lift your fork.

2. After your five deep breaths, allow yourself a moment of gratitude, silent reflection, or prayer for the food you are about to eat

3. Never eat anything you don't enjoy, and truly enjoy everything you eat

Putting these steps into practice will help you feel full naturally and may keep you from overeating. You won't loose 5 pounds in a week but the food you leave behind on your plate when you're full may translate into 100 calories less in your body. Plus that guilt you used to feel at the end of a huge meal will be replaced by a sense of satisfaction that you are taking care of yourself.

So here's my Monday Motivation:
EAT slowly
TASTE your food and ENJOY it
ONE serving is enough

(Source: Cooking Light Magazine)


  1. Very well said. I couldn't agree more. Having seconds should never happen. I sometimes have this little bad habit myself but thanks for reminding me this. :)

  2. Very helpful, my personal mistake are portions! Thanks

  3. Taking a few seconds to at least breathe before starting to eat works. I've started doing at least that much. Every little bit helps!