There’s lots of material out there on mindful eating. I call it “being with your food” and only your food. If you’ve never eaten without any other distractions, all by yourself, it can be an eerie experience.
In non-distracted eating, the idea is to limit the distractions and variables that keep you from totally focusing on your eating experience. You want to set yourself up for success in deciphering what’s happening with your food and in your body. To do that you need to prepare. I suggest very concrete ways of cutting out the distractions while eating so you have the best possible chance to detect fullness when it happens.
I also suggest very defined ways of pacing yourself as you eat. I call it paced eating — inserting pause points for you to check in with yourself while eating to keep the momentum of the meal from going too fast.
By inserting pause points while eating you will be more aware and more mindful of the sensations in your stomach and when you feel satisfied. Pause points will also prolong the eating experience and allow your stomach to signal to your brain that you’ve eaten.
This will promote feeling full before mistakenly overeating and overstuffing the incinerator.85 Eating with pause points uses the 20-30 minutes it takes to register the eating experience in your mind.21,86
21. Suzuki K, Jayasena CN, Bloom SR. Obesity and Appetite Control. Experimental Diabetes Research. 2012;2012:824305.
85. Andrade A, Greene G, Melanson K. Eating Slowly Led to Decreases in Energy Intake within Meals in Healthy Women. J Am Diet Assoc. 2008;108(7):1186-1191.
86. Shah M, Copeland J, Dart L, Adams-Huet B, James A, Rhea D. Slower eating speed lowers energy intake in normal-weight but not overweight/obese subjects. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2014;114(3):393-402.
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