We all experience mindless eating to some degree. Whether it’s scoffing snacks whilst running between meetings, or flicking through our emails whilst we eat lunch.
Increasingly, our fast-paced lives are reflected in our relationships with food. We’re always trying to get more done, and the result is that most of us are completely disconnected from what we’re eating, and how we’re eating it. I’m proposing an alternative. Let’s slow down, and change the way we interact with our food. Let’s make a gradual shift towards eating mindfully, and paying attention to what we’re putting into our bodies.
1. Enhanced taste.
I now enjoy subtle flavours in foods that I would have previously considered bland, like spring greens. If I eat something high in salt, fat, concentrated sugars, or artificial flavourings, I usually feel like it’s too overpowering. This goes to show that if you really listen to your body, you’re more likely to make healthier choices.
2. Improved digestion.
The digestive process starts in the mouth, but most of the time when we’re eating in a rush, the enzymes in our saliva don’t get the chance to work on our food properly. This means the gut has a harder job to do. When I’m more mindful of my food, everything runs much more smoothly.
When I eat slowly and chew my food properly, I tend to be satisfied with having less. This could benefit you if you’re prone to overeating. It also transfers to everyday life. You become more grateful for what you have, and realise that more isn’t necessarily always better.
How to get started…
1. Start small.
Trying to change everything at once rarely leads to long-term success. Start with one meal each day to focus on eating mindfully, then build gradually when you’re comfortable.
2. Embrace preparation.
Enjoy the process of preparing your own food. If you really focus on what you’re doing, it can be a relaxing, almost meditative experience. Plus, you know exactly what’s going into your meal.
3. Remove distractions.
Because we’re always trying to save time, so many of us multitask when we’re eating. Instead, put the laptop lid down and switch off the TV. Perhaps make it a rule that you can only eat at the kitchen table. This really forces you to pay attention to what you’re putting into your body.
4. Eat slowly.
I used to wolf my food down as quickly as possible, but I now try to slow down. Using smaller cutlery can help with this. Take small mouthfuls and chew your food thoroughly, 15 to 20 times. Really try to savour the flavour and textures with each bite.
5. Share with others.
Get the family involved whenever possible, in both the preparation of the meal, and eating it. Share with each other what you think of the food and how it makes you feel. Not only will this help you be more mindful of your eating, establishing the tradition of family mealtimes can help strengthen relationships.
Find out more about Luke Jones and Hero Health Room…
Luke Jones from hero Health Room. Luke Jones is a full time blogger at Health Room, where he explores and shares ideas in plant based nutrition, moving freely, living mindfully, and existing sustainably.
There’s a movement happening – people are waking up and realising the impact of their food choices.
Find out more about Luke Jones and more plant based recipes here www.herohealthroom.com