Mindful eating and how to practice it

Pic courtesy — www.pechakucha.org

“Mindful eating” — now how many times have we heard this before! You must be thinking — eating and mindful? For foodies like me it gets a bit difficult, no, a lot difficult, to actually think about the food I am consuming.

In fact eating is such a joy in itself, that we don’t get time to think about anything else :p so absorbed we are in that moment! And actually thinking about what’s going into our mouths is the last thing on our mind when a delectable looking dish is placed in front of us. To be honest, I for one, am not guided by the calorific value of the food.

Later on I might regret seeing the weighing scale tilting south, but by then the damage has been done.

So what exactly is this mindful eating?

Simply translated, mindful eating is exactly what it appears to be — being mindful or careful of what we are eating. It is the practice of paying attention to what we are putting into our mouths, at all times. Paying attention to not just the taste, aroma and deliciousness of the dish, but also to the amount of empty calories it comes laden with.

I know it sounds very medical-ish but take it from me, a hardcore foodie, that the upsides of mindful eating are far better than the downsides of mindless eating.

Read on to find out how one can practice mindful eating:-

· Get rid of distractions- The first step to mindful eating is to eat in a peaceful environment, without the distraction of TV, phone etc. Watching TV or being engaged in smartphone diverts our attention and we tend to eat mindlessly.

· Stop multitasking- While having your meals, just concentrate on the food and not indulge in other activities like reading, working etc. Be aware of the food you are eating and take time to taste it.

· Watch portion sizes- It is also very important to watch how much food you are putting on your plate. In order to follow mindful eating and avoid overeating, take small or modest portions.

· Chew properly- In this fast paced world, we are always doing things in hurry. As a result, we also eat quickly. By taking time to chew the food properly, we eat slowly and feel full in less amount of time, thus avoiding overeating.

I know it sounds hard and it actually takes a lot of resolve and determination to practice mindful eating. But considering the side effects associated with mindless eating I guess it’s better we adopt it sooner than later.

Like Benjamin Franklin said, “One should eat to live, not live to eat.”