Once you start eating, it takes about 20 minutes for the satiety center in the brain to get stimulated. When this center is stimulated, it sends a signal to your body telling that you are full and you need to STOP eating.
Fast eating overrides the mechanism of stimulating the satiety center in the brain. Thus, if you eat too quickly or say within 20 minutes, the satiety center is not yet stimulated and you just go on eating (at times, more than what your body requires).
Thus, you tend to overfill your stomach by overeating, paving way to become overweight and obese and other related disorders.
When you eat slowly, you will consume the right amount of food that your body requires, and this will do away with consuming extra calories that make you fat.
Rather than thinking about food in terms of number of calories and nutrients, it would be more beneficial if we eat it mindfully.
Eating slowly, chewing the food thoroughly, and savoring every bite of it are some important aspects of Mindful Eating which contribute to our health in several ways.
Following are some ways to master the Art of Mindful Eating:
Start small. Like all new habits, it’s best to set realistic expectations. Choose one meal or snack each day and commit to focusing on mindful eating at that time.
Stop multitasking at meal times. It’s really difficult to focus on eating if you’re multitasking. Set aside time for eating without other entertainment. Ensure that you are away from the television, mobile phones and other devices so that the focus is completely drawn towards eating. You can have some soft music playing in the background to make the eating experience more delightful.
Only eat at the table. Another way to minimize mindless munching is to get into the habit of eating on a proper chair and table. No more snacking on the run!
Appreciate the appearance. While we’ve all drooled over gorgeous food pictures in magazines or social media, sometimes we forget about the beauty of the food we are about to eat. Taking the time to notice sets the scene for mindful eating.
Focus on each mouthful. Think about the flavour, texture and even the sound of the food in your mouth. Focus on how much you like, or dislike these sensations.
Chew- Make sure you chew your food enough so that it is well broken down before you swallow. Eat slow for good 20 minutes.
Use cutlery and put it down between mouthfuls. It’s much easier to take smaller portions when using a spoon and fork. Take a morsel, put your spoon and fork down, chew the morsel of food slowly, real slow, connect with your food, try and understand the spices in it, its unique flavors, chew it well and then swallow.
Talk and share. One of the joys of eating is sharing a meal with loved ones. It can be challenging to incorporate mindfulness in a social situation but not impossible.
Turn the focus of the conversation onto the meal while you are actually eating. Share what you are experiencing in terms of flavours and textures, likes and dislikes.
At first this may seem a little weird but, you’ll soon find yourself having fun with it.
Go for quality not quantity.
By choosing smaller amounts of the best quality food and eating it slow, you will not only enjoy it more, you’re far more likely to be satisfied without having to over eat.
Make time to prepare your own meals, preferably from fresh ingredients. The cooking process can be as relaxing and enjoyable as eating if you allow it to be.
The peace of mind that comes from knowing what exactly has gone into your food makes any hassle worthwhile. We just need to follow these two golden rules and we will never have to diet again- EAT SLOW AND STOP WHEN FULL.