Do you find yourself eating while talking, typing, driving, or sitting in front of the television?  It’s easy to consume excess calories when you’re not fully paying attention to what’s going into your mouth.  Taking the time to experience your food can help you eat less and feel more satisfied.  Avoiding mindless excess calories now can add up to significant weight loss later.

Keep food out of the car.  Multi-day road trips aside, wait until you get out of the car to consume meals and snacks.  Not only will you decrease your chance of mindlessly consuming calories, you’ll keep you and your passengers safer.  A 2009 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that nearly 80% of all car accidents involve eating drivers!

Unplug yourself!  Turn off the computer, the television, the cellphone, or any other distractions and devote your full attention to your meal.

Have a seat.  It’s difficult to appreciate what you’re eating if you’re moving around.  Create a place setting for yourself, take a load off, and get a good look at what you have to eat.

Awaken your senses.  Use all five of your senses to experience your food.  Look at the colors on your plate.  Smell each component of your meal.  As you lift your food to your mouth feel its weight and heft.  Notice the taste of your food and how it develops as you chew.  Observe all the varying textures of each part of your meal.

Check in with your emotions.  Ask yourself how you were feeling before the meal started, throughout your meal, and after you were finished.  Notice how different foods make you feel emotionally and energetically.

Observe your hunger level.  If you could quantify your hunger from 1 to 10 (1 = stuffed, 10 = starving), what number would you give it before and after you eat?  Try to differentiate between physical hunger and the desire to eat for other reasons.

Experience your food without judgment.  Take pleasure in the characteristics of the food you enjoy without self-criticism.  Appreciate what’s in front of you and enjoy the experience of taking it in.

Acknowledge the intimacy of eating.  The food we eat makes its way into every single cell in our body in one form or another.  What is on your plate is soon to be a part of you!
5/8/2013 07:39:08 pm

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