What is the last
thing you ate? What have you eaten in the last 12 hours? Now, can you recall
the sensation you felt eating the food?
Chances are, if
you’re able to recall everything you ate in the last day or so, you certainly
can’t recall how you felt when you ate it. Studies show that, while Americans
may spend an average of 2.5 hours eating per day, more than half of that time
is spent multitasking. While eating, we’re working, driving, watching
television, or mindlessly scrolling Instagram. Most of us aren’t fully mindful
of what we’re eating. Some studies suggest that these mindless eating patterns
can lead to obesity. Mindful eating can be the change you need to set you on
the right path for healthy eating.
mindful eating, you are focusing on the moment. At the same time, you are
acknowledging how you’re feeling, what you’re thinking, and how your body is
feeling. You can apply this technique to any food you eat by truly paying
attention to every bite you take.
goes further than how you feel during the actual act of eating. The act of
being fully attentive to your food involves your food at every level—from
purchase, to preparation, to plating, to consumption. In fact, it starts with
your grocery list. Are you considering the nutritional value of every item you’re
written down for purchase? Are you thinking about how it will make you feel
once you’ve consumed it? Will you feel good about serving it?
When it comes to
the actual act of eating, think about your appetite. If you’re starving, you’ll
want to fill up quickly. That doesn’t give you a whole lot of room to eat
slowly and think about what you’re consuming. Being hungry—but not
ravenous—will help you dish up a healthy portion. Using a smaller plate is
helpful, as it tricks the eye into thinking you’re consuming more than you are.
Before digging in, take a minute to appreciate the food and express gratitude.
As you eat, be sure to take small bites, chew slowly, and set your utensil down
in-between bites; you’ll be able to absorb the full flavor. Make sure all your
sense are part of the meal: how the food smells, looks, feels, tastes, and even
sounds as you chew it.
In combination with a tool like the Lap-Band® System, which promotes satiety, eating mindfully can be a powerful tool in controlling your eating habits.
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