September 27, 2017 | Categories: Diet & Weight Loss
Surely I’m not the only one who has eaten lunch while working only to look at an empty plate and wonder where my food went. Chances are, you’re also guilty of the occasional distracted and mindless eating—chowing down while texting, grubbing in front of a computer, or munching at a movie theater. In fact, it’s probably difficult to recall a recent time in which you were concentrating totally on your meal.
Being more mindful while eating can help you feel more relaxed and present, which creates a more enjoyable experience. It’s also a tactic you might want to employ to lose weight without dieting or working out more. An article published in the American Journal of Nutrition reviewed 24 studies and found that “attentive eating” plays a part in the types of foods people consume—as well as how much they consume—and it helps people remember what they ate later on. When you aren’t eating mindfully, you’re also more likely to overeat. Researchers are beginning to study mindful eating as a technique that can help people who are overweight or obese lose weight.
Practicing mindful eating is an exercise that can help you appreciate the entire experience. Eating lends itself very well to a mindful exercise, it’s about bringing your mind to the physical senses and appreciating the process, says Headspace co-founder Andy Puddicombe “[Mindful eating] is about training the mind to be present, more aware, calmer, clearer, more content, while using food and eating as a vehicle for that,” he says.
Just as you try to stay focused on your breath during meditation, aim to stay focused on the experience of eating from the first bite, throughout the meal, and how you feel after you’ve finished. This will create a more satisfying experience. Here’s how to try it:
Take a break from technology. Put your phone on silent and turn off notifications. Turn off any music or podcasts. Also, try doing this exercise alone the first few times, and apply what you learn to future meals when the opportunity presents itself.
Plate your food. Consider setting out napkins, utensils, using a placemat, and even lighting a candle at the table if you can. Sit at a table in front of your food.
Read the full article on Headspace.
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