Many of us put food into our mouths without really thinking. You may be bored, rushed, distracted or stressed. Whatever the reason, we consume food and calories without tasting the food or having any awareness of its impact on our bodies, our energy level or our health.
I used to drink several cups of coffee a day. I’d drink one in the morning, to wake up. A second on the way to work and sometimes a 3rd once at work. I consumed all this coffee mindlessly. It was a ritual and a habit, but I never really stopped to taste the coffee.
Over time I realized that I was arriving at work tense and jittery. I felt nervous in my morning meetings, so I began to cut back on the coffee. Then, at a training I participated in a mindful eating exercise. I just happened to have a cup of coffee, sat and mindfully drank the coffee. What I discovered is that coffee is bitter and has a taste that is not particularly appealing to me.
Try the exercise yourself. Choose 1 meal, snack or drink and consume it mindfully. Notice the flavor of the food. Notice the texture. Eat or drink slowly, really tasting it. Smell it as you bring a bite to your mouth. Feel it as you chew and swallow. Make sure that you are sitting somewhere with as little distraction as possible. If you become distracted, bring your mind back to the food. Eat slowly.
Take a break between bites to fully attend to the taste experience of each bite. Pay attention to how your body feels as you consume the food. Do you become full or satisfied? Does it have any other effect, like the coffee had for me.
If you try this exercise or have tried it before and noticed any differences in how you ate, as a result of the exercise, please comment. I would be interested in hearing the impact mindful eating has had on you.
Follow this link to prevent the mindless munchies.