I have a confession to make… watching people eat fascinates me! Not right up close mind you, but from a distance such as in the airport or in a shopping mall food court!
It started after I read an amazing book called ‘Mindless Eating– why we eat more than we think’ by Brian Wansink. I could see that in speeding up our life, trying to fit the increasing demands in our day, something had to give. And no surprises here, it’s the time we spend eating.
Do you remember your grandmother or parents telling you to chew food 32 times? I often wondered why 32. It turns out that’s one chew for every tooth in your mouth!
Ever counted how many times you chew your food?
How often do you do that? I notice most people chew each mouthful just 7 times, maybe less.
Why’s it a problem? Well chewing food to a puree mixes it with lots of saliva. In the saliva an enzyme called amylase gets a chance to start breaking down some of the starch in your food. Ultimately both the breakdown of starch and food into smaller pieces means better digestion, less bloating and less troublesome gas. Hey we all want that.
Are you Multitasking whilst eating?
It seems like an easy enough change to make but I promise you, it’s not easy to remember when you are doing something else when eating.
This multitasking when eating means we don’t notice whether we chew or not and in most cases it’s a case of not!
Do a quick check of how many meals and snacks each week you are also doing something else along side eating:
- Are you eating breakfast whilst getting ready for work, watching Breakfast TV, packing lunch, getting dressed or getting others ready for their day?
- Are you too short of time to eat breakfast at home so you eat it in the car on the way to school or work or at your desk?
- Are you having lunch whilst checking emails or facebook, talking on the phone or rushing out to the shops?
- Or are you at meetings during breakfast or lunch?
- And at the end of an (often exhausting) day, do you flop onto the couch to eat your evening meal in front of the TV?
This multitasking is leading us to Mindless Eating, which means we barely notice or chew our food. And then we finish all the food available on auto pilot.
When was the last time you sat down for a meal or snack, enjoying the sounds of nature and just enjoyed the full pleasure of your food? Maybe when on your vacation or holiday?
You’ll agree it’s pretty rare for someone to eat most or every meal at a table with no TV on, no computer, phone or iPad, no newspaper or book… and just eat.
Want to eat less food without using will power?
Another fantastic reason to eat Mindfully is that you can reduce portion sizes without relying on will power,
Mindful eating involves eating with every sense, aware of the look, scents, textures and each taste, all sending vital messages to your brain. By doing this you are likely to be more satisfied for longer and want up to 30% less food.
Let me guide you on Mindful eating
Here’s a short video of me guiding you on Mindful eating – enjoy!