If you read this blog more than once in awhile, you probably know how much I love ice cream. It’s hands-down my favorite way to “spend” my discretional calories, and despite my nutrition background I sometimes catch myself eating mindlessly straight out of the container.
The last time this happened, I stopped for a second and realized how little enjoyment I was getting out of my alleged favorite food. I was eating it, but I was barely tasting it, and it certainly wasn’t providing me with the pleasure I often experience when digging into ice cream.
Why? Because when you eat mindlessly, your brain, mouth, and stomach don’t communicate well, so you don’t really reap the benefits of whatever you’re indulging in. But when you eat mindfully – as in take the time to smell, taste, and experience your food without distraction – you get so much more enjoyment out of eating that you can often eat less yet feel much more satisfied. And bonus: you don’t have any of the guilt that often settles in for many of us post-indulgence.
Eating mindfully takes practice, but here are some ways to get started:
- Portion out whatever you’re eating into a bowl or plate.
- Sit down while eating.
- Avoid distractions if possible – especially work, TV, and phone – so you can really focus on what you’re tasting.
- Eat slowly. Put your fork or spoon down between bites.
- Choose your indulgences wisely. Save up for what you really love, as opposed to blowing your empty calories on foods you only sort of like.
New goal: to always put my ice cream in a bowl!