In our busy daily life, mindless eating and mindless living are all too familiar.
Instant messages, cell phones and emails have become such a part of our lives that we may work at our computer and eat at the same time and suddenly realize that our food is gone without even tasting it. You do not even notice the bite and taste in your mouth.
Mindless eating can lead to consuming extra calories and our health can suffer as a result.
So, what is mindful eating? Mindful eating is being fully aware of the experience of eating. In addition, listen to your hunger and satisfaction queues to guide you on when to begin and stop eating.
It takes about 20 minutes after we eat before our stomach receives a "full" signal from the brain. The only way to get more pleasure out of eating is to slow down.
Mindful eating is not a diet; it is simply experiencing your meal and learning to identify and listen to hunger cues.
The next time you eat, ask yourself how hungry you are, and eat only when you are hungry. Did you ever eat an entire meal and not taste a single bite?
Taste your meal; savor the flavor and texture of the food. This may be challenging, but try not to have any distraction such as watching TV or driving while eating.
Changing habit is never easy, but it can be done. I have to admit, even as a dietitian, this practice does not always come easily for me. But I do try to sit down at a table, look at my meal, be conscious of my meal and appreciate my meal.
Here is a good website to learn about mindful eating: www.tcme.org.
Damayanti is a registered dietitian at Sutter Gould Medical Foundation in Modesto and San Joaquin County.