Have you ever sat down to eat, answered your telephone, hung up, only to realize that the food is gone and you can’t really recall if it was tasty or not?
Have you consumed your lunch while at your desk at work or in a home office and wonder hours later “did I eat lunch today?”
Have you ever sat down to watch a movie with a bag of potato chips and look down to find that you ate more than half the bag and the movie isn’t even over yet?
This, my friends, is what is referred to as “mindless eating” and we are all guilty of this at some point in the day if not at every moment food touches our lips. The latest in the bag of clever tools for weight loss is “mindful eating”. Is there really something to this? Well actually, yes, yes there is.
Early in January 2012, NPR’s food blog “the SALT” featured an article on mindful eating titled “How to Eat Out Without Putting on the Pounds” (http://n.pr/xYc4Gq) that was attacked in the comments for pointing out that practicing mindful eating could actually lead to less calories consumed (especially the earlier comments when the article was first published). The New York TImes Health Section posted a similar article about a month later (http://nyti.ms/yBmZYu). Lets face it folks, the lower the amount of calories you take in the easier it is to lose and maintain weight loss, however weight loss is not easy, and weight maintenance can be even more difficult. Being more mindful of what you eat will not only make you enjoy every bite, slow you down, help you learn when to put the fork down and walk away, but can help ease digestion for many of you out there.
So how do you do it? The gist of “mindful eating” is to remove all distractions at meal times and focus on what you are about to eat. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Not so fast. Try it the next time you sit down for a meal and let me know how it goes.