When you eat too fast, often in front of a TV or computer, you eat too many calories without realizing it. However, you must remember that it takes approximately 20 minutes from the time you start eating for your stomach to send signals of satiety to the brain. In fact, satiety settles when eating slowly.
If you eat slower and more aware, you will consume a smaller portion of food and increase the pleasure of eating. In order to do this, it is important to remove all distractions around you and focus only on the meal. Eating slowly, with small bites may prove to be very difficult, but a slower pace can be easier to adopt when you eat regular meals and keep a length of a maximum of four hours between meals.
Some research studies suggest that a slower and more aware way of eating may reduce weight problems and may help people to stay away from processed food, choosing healthy food instead.
Food reveals our connection to the Earth. Eat close to the bottom of the food chain to maximize your energy and to support your body and the healing of the Earth. Eat organic, with the freshest of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
As you reduce or eliminate animal and animal by-products, there may be less energy required for digestion. Consider eating vegan, letting go of meat, eggs, and dairy products, while being careful to get plenty of high carbohydrates foods at each meal. Eat more raw foods.
What is conscious nutrition or mindful eating?
Conscious nutrition is based on the Buddhist concept of mindfulness, meaning you must be fully aware of what is happening in and around you during the meal. Conscious nutrition techniques are a way to escape the stress and alleviate problems such as high blood pressure and chronic gastrointestinal disorders.
Applied in the human nutrition process, awareness includes observing color, smell, flavor, and texture of food; chewing slowly; eliminating distractions, and learning to cope with guilt and anxiety about food.
According to Harvard Medical School, here’s what you can gradually do to begin adopting conscious nutrition:
1. Set the timer for 20 minutes and try to eat a normal size-meal during this time.
2. Try to eat with the non-dominant hand. If you are right-handed, eat with your left hand and vice versa.
3. Use Chinese chopsticks, if you do not normally use it.
4. Eat quietly for five minutes and think about what it took to produce that meal, from the sunlight and the field it grew on, to the foods’ transformation processes until it reached your plate.
5. Take small bites and chew well.
6. Before opening the fridge, take a deep breath and ask yourself: are you really hungry? If the answer is no, do something else, like reading or going for a short walk.
7. The most important food for the body is breathing. Breathe in a way that communicates ease, comfort, and well being. Breathe deeply.
Pay attention to food and notice how it affects your mood and energy. Draw conclusions from these observations – memorize these conclusions and feelings, and remember them next time you choose your food. Whatever the results, be grateful for this experience!