by Kendra Gaffney, RD, LDN
We come across times in our lives when we must scarf down a meal in less than 5 minutes without feeling each flavor brush our individually designed taste buds. Stomachs are overwhelmed by the mass consumption and our bodies struggle to get the proper breakdown. Eating large meals in a short amount of time can inhibit our ability to understand our body’s signals of hunger and fullness. We live in a society of now…Now…NOW! This takes away the ability for us to enjoy and taste our foods. It’s very important for us as humans to slow down our eating. We must take a step back and analyze the situation. This will help us out, not only through eating, but in all other aspects of life. For instance, taking a bite every 30 seconds vs. a bite every second will enhance your ability to taste, increase your sensation of fullness, create a longer more satisfying meal time, and help slim your waistline.
Here is a helpful exercise to slow down the eating and increase mindfulness of what is being placed in your precious body. Our digestion begins with sight and smell. The moment we see a deep red strawberry or smell the pot roast in the crockpot our mind triggers our saliva to drip and our stomachs to growl. Try this easy 10 step exercise to enhance your ability to eat mindfully.
Choosing to eat mindfully will decrease over consumption of foods, increase self-awareness of hunger signals, create a more pleasurable dining experience, and help us reach our weight loss/maintenance goals. At your next meal I challenge you to try at least one bite using this mindful eating technique. Enjoy!