The first part of mindfulness you can practice is to become mindful when eating. By being mindful when eating, we allow ourselves to chew our food slower, thus releasing all the enzymes needed to help break down our food first before it enters the stomach. Too often we rush our meals and swallow whole pieces of food without chewing it first. Chewing activates saliva, engages the muscles in our mouth and helps our teeth to do the work they should be doing.
When you next eat something, take your time to chew the food. Feel the texture of the food, acknowledge the taste, and smell and listen to how chewing sounds in your head. Taking time to eat your food will also allow time for your gut to let your brain know when you are full. Unfortunately, many people wolf their food down too quickly not giving the gut time to let the brain know when you are full. This results in over-eating, but if you are mindful when eating, you will begin to acknowledge that you have had enough to eat – It’s okay to leave food on your plate. If you hate waste, then wrap it up and eat it later as a snack.
It’s important to be mindful of how much food you are serving on your plate. Remember, if your partner is bigger than you, then they need to eat more food than you, not the same. Decreasing your portion sizes and taking time to eat your meals, will ensure that you are eating the right amount of food for your body size. We tend to pile our food onto a large dinner plate, but really it should only be half full, or better still use smaller plates or serve to stir-fries in a bowl.