Can we get more pleasure out of the food we eat and learn to recognize natural hunger and satiety cues?
We must learn how to love food through mindful eating. But, what does that mean? How do we get more pleasure out of food and learn to recognize hunger and satiety?
Mindful eating includes being present in the moment, aware of all elements of the eating process. Many believe this type of attention promotes health, wellness, and a positive relationship with food. The process of eating begins with mindful preparation. Plan to make a healthy and delicious meal at least once per week. There’s no need for a five course meal or complicated recipe. Simple is best. Take pleasure in the preparation. Pour a cup of tea or glass of wine and ask Alexa to play your favorite music.
Tune in to the cool temperature of the water as you rinse your fruits and vegetables. Listen to the sound of the knife on the wooden board as you chop. Notice the vibrant colors of the fruits, vegetables, and sauces.
Smell the herbs and spices before adding them and observe the fine mist of citrus as you squeeze a lemon.
Feel the stickiness of the chopped garlic, smell the rosemary oil on your hands, listen to the sounds of boiling water and the sizzle in the pan.
Now imagine that you have just prepared a small, but perfectly cooked dish of ravioli with browned butter, pesto, and sage.
Plate your meal and cut a bite-sized piece of pasta for your fork, place the bite into your mouth and put your fork down. Taste the bite. I mean, really taste it. Is the texture smooth, the sage crispy? Do you appreciate the savory umami from the browned butter? Is there a sweetness to the pasta? Contemplate the warmth, spice, saltiness, and tenderness. Take time to enjoy each and every morsel and consider how you feel as you are eating. Are you satisfied?
I refuse to eat plain chicken breast and quinoa for breakfast, lunch and dinner simply because it provides a lean yet thoughtless and incredibly boring meal. Along the same lines, scarfing down a plate of food as quickly as possible leaves you wanting more. Food should be enjoyed! How often have you taken a second or third helping and afterward regretted the decision, feeling uncomfortable and guilty? How many bites of food did you find gratifying?
Focus on Using All of Your Senses
Our bodies were created to eat with all of our senses. For instance, does your mouth water when you smell a skillet of piping hot fajitas being delivered to someone else’s table?
What about the smell of freshly baked bread? Certainly, when you see a display of specialty cakes at the market, you find delight in the beautiful decorations and wonder which you would pick. Try to mentally process the crispy, sticky texture of a roasted cube of butternut squash…
and the feel of a pastry as it crumbles.
Experts believe mindful eating creates a barrier to overeating. As you practice, you may discover that your cravings aren’t always from wanting the actual food. More importantly, you may learn to separate satisfaction from satiety. Isabel Duke, a health coach with a degree in sociology and the creator of StopFightingFood.com said, “If you can’t enjoy your food, it will never lose its grip on you”.
Get more pleasure out of food and learn to recognize hunger and satiety by asking yourself, “why am I eating”, “what am I eating”, “when and where am I eating”? Does your meal or snack create an experience? If the answer is no, the answers to why, what, when, and where are right under your nose.
Check out this link for books written by Registered Dietitians you may enjoy: Books by Dietitians