Mindful Eating: Slow Down and Enjoy Your Food

Mindful eating for weight loss

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When you eat or drink and your body is busy processing the food, your brain is distracted, making it harder to notice when you’re full. Well, it’s all too easy to over-indulge when you’re eating too quickly.
It can be hard to slow down and enjoy a meal when you’re in the middle of a busy day. But eating slowly, enjoying every bite, and savoring your food have many benefits. Not only will it help you feel more satiated and give your brain time to realize that you’re full, but it can also help you eat less. It can also lead to better digestion and absorption of nutrients, improved mood and healthier weight.
You’ve probably heard that you should chew your food well, but did you know why? When we eat, our senses play a key role in our enjoyment of food. The texture and taste of foods are important factors in determining how much we enjoy eating. The smell and sight of food can also affect how we perceive its taste.


If you want to lose weight, then start chewing more slowly. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (August 2011) show that slower eating reduces the number of calories we consume and increases the levels of appetite-regulating hormones that tell our brain when to stop eating.
Another study, published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association (July 2008), showed that eating more slowly decreased food intake and increased feelings of satiety in healthy women.


Watch: Mindful Eating with Mayo | Karen Mayo | TEDxWilmington



Mindful eating – a new way of eating


Looking for new ways to eat mindfully? Anywhere from the dining table to the coffee shop, there are plenty of ways you can slow down and enjoy your food.


Explore these 5 suggestions and ideas for eating more mindfully:
1. Your dinning space should be comfortable – All you need is some slow time and a calming space. As you prepare to dine, it is important to create a calm, beautiful space for eating in order to cultivate a peaceful mindset. Make sure that all dishes are clean, and your kitchen is organized before cooking begins. Fully prepare the entire meal ahead of time so that you have time to enjoy it without rushing through courses.


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2. Set aside at least 20 minutes to enjoy your meal – Eat slowly and enjoy the food you’re eating. Take time to appreciate the flavor and texture of each bite, and savor your food. Mindful eating takes patience, but the practice will teach you to eat more slowly and mindfully, which can have big benefits for body and mind.
3. Get rid of all distractions – Your dining space should be comfortable, quiet and free of distractions. Turn off your cell phone, put away newspapers and magazines, unplug unnecessary appliances and move plates and glasses well out of the way. Turn off the television, and only eat at your table during those 20 minutes.
4. Enjoy each bite of your meal –  Eat slowly, putting down your fork in between bites, chewing each mouthful for 30 seconds, and pausing between courses if necessary. The key to mindful eating is slowing down and focusing on the tastes and textures of each mouthful. Put your fork down between bites, and only eat when you’re really hungry.
5. Chew, chew, chew– Food must be chewed so it can be swallowed easily and, when it arrives into the stomach, be properly digested.

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