Mindful eating: an effective, free way to lose weight – So, with all of the attention paid to what foods you should eat, are you really paying attention to the food while you’re eating?
The ultimate goal of Eastern practices like Yoga and meditation are to exist in the present moment. In other words, as you go through your day, you are much more balanced and focused when your mind is not drifting into thoughts and worries about the future, or regrets about the past.
It sounds simple, but most of us have a hard time being present, and as a result, we suffer from noisy, clouded minds that lead to anxiety, insomnia, depression, high blood pressure, and obesity.
A practice called, “mindful eating” can help you be present when you eat, which can lead to eating less, enjoying food more, and better food choices.
A mindful eating exercise
Here’s a simple way to try to eat mindfully. Get a small bowl of fresh fruit or raisins. (or, even a burrito, if you must!)
Sitting with good posture in a chair, pick up the food. Now close your eyes, and hold it up to your nose. Smell it, and continue to breath slowly and deliberately. What does it smell like?
Now, put one small bite in your mouth, and let it sit on your tongue for a moment. What does it taste like?
As you begin to chew it slowly, think about the texture. What does it feel like?
Make sure that you chew it a little longer than you normally might, and resist the urge to quickly swallow it to make room for another bite. As you experience your food, the noise in your head also subsides.
So, what does this have to do with weight loss?
A simple exercise like this is a taste of mindful eating, which can help you be present while you eat, and ultimately help you lose weight. We have the tendency to eat with the goal of being full, so we don’t really pay attention to what we’re eating. We also have the tendency to multitask while eating.
Some of these bad habits include using phones or even driving while we eat. When you do this, you are off balance, and prone to eating too much, and making bad food choices. (OK, check your Weight Watchers app, but put the phone away while you eat!)
When you are in the present moment, you are more conscious of your senses and more balanced. Use all of your senses and truly experience your food. It’s also effective to avoid red meat and eat smaller meals more frequently, as you’ll avoid that “full” feeling that makes you tired and saps your energy.
- More: Mindful Eating as Food for Thought – NY Times