Do you experience how you eat?

Having a meal that fills our stomach can cause a lot of cravings and impulses which are not very easy to satisfy and quite often, we succumb to such impulses. These include the tendency to grab a book, to turn on the T.V, to call someone on our cell phone or to do web search on some interesting subject. Succumbing to these impulses lead to chronic diseases and can be a real setback in life. Mindful eating involves paying full attention to the experience of eating and drinking, both inside and outside the body.

We pay attention to the colors, smells, textures, flavors, temperatures, and even the sounds (crunch!) of our food. Do we actually pay attention to the experiences of the body? Where in the body do we feel hunger? Where do we feel satisfaction? What does half full feel like, or three quarters full feel like? All such questions are not usually answered or if fact we do not care about asking such questions to our body. We are so engrossed in the world outside that often we fail to feel what happens in our body.

Mindful eating is extremely important in the present scenario, in the light of the fast spreading epidemic of non-communicable diseases like obesity, cardio vascular diseases, diabetes etc., where weight gain is an important risk factor.

Mindful eating is a skill, and in fact a form of meditation, that one doesn’t just acquire overnight. It takes practice, and there will be times when you forget to eat mindfully, and when you lose it half the way. But with practice and attention, you can actually become good at this. By acquiring this skill, you learn to eat when you’re hungry, and stop when you’re sated. Further, you slowly start to realize that unhealthy food is not as tasty as you did not expect it to be, nor does it make you feel very good.