I constantly find myself thinking where did the time go? Or, I have so much to do, there just are not enough hours in the day! I am sure you can relate. Society has put so much emphasis on rushing around and getting as much as we possibly can get done in 24 hours. It is no surprise that you may find yourself eating on the go, or eating in the mists of preforming other daily tasks. Did you know that eating while doing other things such as driving or getting the kids ready for school is mindless eating?
Many of my clients are unaware that they are mindless eaters. Whether you are eating on the run or eating while relaxing at the end of a busy day watching your favorite show, you are only semi-paying attention to what you are eating. You are not paying full attention to the flavor or the pleasure your meal or snack is providing. You are missing out on all the wonderful sensations that food brings to the experience of eating. So what do you do? You reach for more due to dissatisfaction and eat more calories than you need, which leads to weight gain.
Let me give you an example from my own personal experience. I’m taking you back many years to when I was newly married with a newborn. I went to graduate school at night and therefore ate dinner before I left. One evening I was eating dinner. The baby was in his crib, my husband was still at work and I sat down to eat my dinner. I was watching T.V. while I was eating. At the end of the show, I looked down on my plate and thought to myself “I’m pretty sure I had a baked potato on my plate. Where did it go? Did I eat it?”
Well, I realized the baby certainly didn’t eat my potato, and it wasn’t on the floor so I must have eaten it. I ate the whole thing without even realizing! I remember feeling like I wanted another. From that moment on, I told myself I would share this story with my future clients to reiterate how important it is to enjoy what you are eating without distraction to ultimately achieve meal time satisfaction.
Once you learn to be mindful of what you are eating, you will find that you will be more satisfied with less food. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
– When you eat, just eat!
– Sit down at the table to eat, not in the living room, den or bedroom.
– Turn off all distractions while you eat, such as the T.V., cell phone, email, Facebook. Let your voicemail take messages during mealtimes instead of answering the phone.
– At work, eat in the lounge, or go outside and find a park bench, weather permitting. Try not to eat at your desk. If you must, put the work aside and take time to enjoy what you are eating.
Remember eating should be a pleasurable experience!
Now it’s your turn to take action: What steps will you take to be more mindful in your eating?