Conscious Eating

Conscious Eating is her secret.

A popular country singer, known for her blonde beauty and svelte silhouette, was asked in an interview how she had trimmed the extra pounds and maintained her lovely figure. Her secret was that she stopped “unconscious eating.” This means that she paid attention to what she was eating, rather than just putting food in her mouth.

This is very good advice for losing and maintaining weight, as well as for eating a healthier diet, in general.

Eating in front of TV

Here are some tips for making eating consciously a way of life:

-Make meals an occasion by taking the time to prepare tasty foods served in an appealing manner. A pleasing presentation can enhance even the simplest meal. Use that pretty china and flatware, and not just for special occasions!

-Assemble your entire meal before you begin so that you can see what you will eat. The mistake that many of us make is to eat our food piecemeal, with no true picture of what the meal looks like. Take the time to fill your plate with appropriate servings, so that you can enjoy a healthy balance of flavors, colors and food groups.

-Sit down at the table when eating, rather than standing over the sink or in front of the refrigerator. Eating on the run makes it more difficult to employ conscious eating.

-Don’t do anything else while you are eating (except, of course to visit with the people with whom you may be sharing the meal), or you will be unaware of what and how much goes into your mouth, and be more likely to overeat.

For instance, watching television while you eat will distract you from the taste and texture of your meal, and you may find yourself eating more than you would have if you had been paying attention. 

-Eat your meal slowly--savor the wonderful flavors and enjoy the varied textures. If you gobble the food down, you will miss the sensations of taste and texture that are part of the fun of eating. You are not just “filling your tank,” you are also satisfying your palate.

-Keep track of what you eat with a food journal. There have been a number of studies recently that suggest that chief among diet tips is to write down what you eat. It is recommended that you begin to chronicle your eating habits before you make any changes, so that you can get a handle on what may have contributed to poor health or weight gain. Since you are the only one who will see your food diary, you can be honest with yourself and thus, have a useful tool for success.

Eating can be one of life's greatest pleasures. It deserves your undivided attention!

Gobble... Gobble...

If you have ever watched a dog eat his food, or snatch a dog treat, you may have noticed that he often swallows it, practically whole, and is almost always looking for more. That’s probably where we get the expression “wolf” your food, which means to gobble it down without really tasting it, and usually with little or no time to savor the taste and texture.

Needless to say, this does not qualify as conscious eating!

Unlike our canine companions, we humans have been given a discriminating taste and an appreciation for the food we eat. We also have built-in mechanisms, of hunger and satiety, to help us eat what we need in the proper amounts.

In places where food is abundant, we have learned to ignore our body's signals of hunger and fullness, but eat based on other factors such as time of day, type of food, social pressures,  and emotional upheaval. (Oddly enough, this also applies to our doggy friends who are often overweight based on overfeeding!)

Conscious eating involves noticing when you are actually physically hungry and when your body has had enough. If you have been overriding these signals for a while, you may need to do some retraining to regain the sensitivity to your body's feedback.

Try conscious eating and be healthy with my warmest regards,

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