Mindful Eating Leads to Weight Loss
July 11, 2011
Meditation is typically something you think of as a strategy for quieting the mind. But apparently, it can quiet your appetite, too.
According to recent research reported by the Harvard Health Letter, mindful eating can lead to weight loss and an increase in food enjoyment.
No kidding. Slurping in front of the tube isn’t the most mindful way to ingest your food (and I’m guilty of it sometimes, too). Apparently, there is indeed a mind-gut connection. It takes about twenty minutes for the gut to tell the mind it is full. So people who slow down their food ingestion actually eat less.
Like the fork method that I laid out in The Power of Slow (in which you actually use utensils to eat, placing your fork down between bites), the Harvard Health Letter suggests the following tips:
- Set your kitchen timer to 20 minutes, and take that time to eat a normal-sized meal.
- Try eating with your non-dominant hand; if you’re a righty, hold your fork in your left hand when lifting food to your mouth.
- Use chopsticks if you don’t normally use them.
- Eat silently for five minutes, thinking about what it took to produce that meal, from the sun’s rays to the farmer to the grocer to the cook.
- Take small bites and chew well.
- Before opening the fridge or cabinet, take a breath and ask yourself, “Am I really hungry?” Do something else, like reading or going on a short walk.
I would add thanking the Earth for producing the food before you even begin eating. It heightens your awareness about the food itself and places you in a space of gratitude, thereby heightening the experience and underscoring the truth that less truly is more!