…because what you put on your plate matters
Eating – if we’re engaged in any other activity – can be a mindless experience. When we’re focusing on the television, computer or even a book while we eat, we eat more than we should. We have no connection with what we’re actually eating either.
Just think of the huge popcorn containers on sale in cinemas – would anyone really consume that amount of food if they were focused on what they were eating? Do people leave the cinema feeling satisfied? Chances are they barely remember eating it at all.
Contrast that experience with the pleasure of savouring a wonderful dinner – lovingly made, shared with loved ones – which lives on in your memory long after the taste in your mouth has gone. How exquisite even the simplest of dishes can taste when you are really focussed on the experience of eating!
Dr Brian Wansink is a food psychologist at Cornell University who has spent years researching mindless eating and its link with obesity. His studies show that the average person makes an astounding 250 decisions about food every single day. No wonder we’re so screwed up about eating! His book ‘Mindless Eating: Why we eat more than we think’ claims that we put on weight not because of WHAT we eat but because of the ways in which we eat.
I agree with Wansink that making the smallest of changes to your daily routines can make a huge difference to your health – and your weight. Yes, we can learn to be mindful to what we eat and – crucially – how much we eat and why.
There are lot of great resources out there to help you develop your conscious eating practice.
The Centre for Mindful Eating: http://tcme.org/