Friday, 6 April 2012

Applying Buddhist Mindfulness to Eating for Slimming by Natural Weight Loss

Mindful Eating

By Miriam Stoppard in The Daily Mirror     

Slim down naturally with mindful eating - Old fashioned idea of eating has a lot in common with the Buddhist discipline

My mum (and my granny) used to tell my sister and I as children to chew each mouthful 20 times, slowly, to enjoy the taste of our food.

This old fashioned idea of eating has a lot in common with the Buddhist discipline, which encourages eating slowly, and sometimes silently for health and tranquillity.

What my mum (and incidentally Buddhism) was attempting to do was to break the habit of wolfing down our food. Instead patiently chew, pause, put down the knife and fork between mouthfuls, take a sip of water, appreciate the flavours, don’t talk (with your mouth full) and certainly don’t spoil the ritual of enjoying food by watching TV at the same time.

Think about the food in your mouth. Examine the flavours. Feel the textures. If you roll the food around your mouth you experience each bite more intensely and more pleasurably.

Welcome to “mindful eating”, the kind that stops you eating too much, too quickly and consuming too many calories, not giving your appetite time to switch off.

With the pace of life speeding up and our speed of eating with it, a nutritionist from Harvard University is advocating mindful eating as a way of stopping you short, asking yourself questions like: Why am I eating this? Do I really need this? Do I feel full yet? Am I eating out of unhappiness? Or because I’m depressed? Eating thoughtfully means we soon realise we don’t need to eat so fast or so much, and that we feel fuller sooner. We give our brains time to tell the stomach we’ve eaten enough.

Nutritionists are excited by mindful eating because it offers a psychological barrier to overeating.

Mindful eating also means we can confront our cravings, take a few deep breaths to deflect them and stop ourselves resorting to reaching for the chocolate biscuits or ice cream.

If all this sounds a touch New Age, wait for this...

Big business corporations are adapting mindful eating in their canteens to lower workplace stress. Businesses like Google now have silent vegetarian lunches once a month.

Start with baby steps. Switching to mindful eating has to be learned, practised and worked towards.

You will gradually discover flavours. You will eat about 25% fewer calories. You will lose weight. Your blood pressure will fall. Your heart will be healthier. You will live longer.

What’s stopping you?

Mindfulness about Food

See also  A Buddhist approach to eating and drinking