Have you ever eaten a meal so mindlessly that when you were done eating it, you couldn’t quite remember whether you enjoyed it or not? I can remember when I used to eat in my car – I could down an entire bag of chips or sandwich and not even recall tasting a bite.
The same thing used to happen when I ate while working in front of my computer screen. Not only did I trash my keyboard with crumbs and the occasional spill of dressing or sauce – but I would finish the meal or snack and feel completely unsatisfied. This, of course, would lead to grabbing for more food to feel fulfilled.
When I began practicing the art of mindful eating my food started tasting better AND I stopped overeating. I instantly noticed how different my entire eating experiences became.
I discovered that I was eating foods that I didn’t particularly like, but somehow kept putting them on my plate thinking I liked them. I learned that I didn’t need to eat as much food as I had been eating because I tuned into the “full” message my stomach would send to my brain. And, I found that I could no longer eat behind my own back.
So, if you’re open to enjoying more pleasure while eating, I invite you into the concept of eating when you’re awake versus eating on auto-pilot.
Now I know you might be thinking, “how will I get everything done in my work day AND stop and take time to nourish my body while fully present?” I’m guessing the inner dialogue might go more like this, “how can I possibly stop what I’m doing to eat? I’m such a great multi-tasker, I can eat mindfully and read my friends’ posts on Facebook.”
Honor yourself and your body and give this mindful eating thing a try for one week or even one day and see how things shift for you. It’s really all about making time for YOU!
Here’s how it works:
- Create loving boundaries around where you will and will NOT eat. For example, I will eat sitting down at my kitchen table. I will NOT eat while seated in front of my computer screen.
- Remove all distractions before you put the first bite in your mouth. Turn off the TV, hide your phone, etc.
- Pause and take a good look at the food on your plate. Smell the yummy aroma, notice the lovely colors, etc.
- Close your eyes and say a prayer of thanks in a way that is meaningful to you.
- Start eating with full presence and awareness – savoring every bite as you chew slowly and thoughtfully.
- Check in with your stomach a few times throughout the meal to listen in for clues that it might be getting close to full. Ideally stop eating when you feel about 75-80% full.
- When your meal is done, pause one more time, close your eyes and give yourself thanks for nourishing your body with amazing food!