There’s something truly magical about slowing down, appreciating good company, and savoring every bite of food that we indulge in. Living in New York City often promotes a “fast-paced lifestyle” and a “you snooze, you lose” concept if you are unable to keep up with everything around you – which can contribute to mindless eating and quick fixes.
Sure, you can scarf down your burrito to make it back to work on time but what good does that do? Whenever I go on a lunch break, I always do my best to pace myself so as to not rush through what I’m eating. As annoying as it might be for others, I love taking pictures and videos of the beautiful food in front of me – even something as simple as a burrito. I appreciate the hard work that was put into preparing the food and then take my time to consume it. Just know that you’re not alone in this as many New Yorkers face similar habits due to the nature of keeping up with the daily speed, efficiency, and grind of life.
Did you know that there is a connection to eating fast with feeling being anxious? The anxious mind wants to get to the “future” as quick as possible in hopes of bringing calmness. So, by eating slower, you are training the subconscious that it is safe to be present and not worry about rushing to the future. On top of that, inhaling your food at lightning speed can lead to more caloric consumption, feeling uncomfortably full, and weight gain. It takes time for the brain to recognize when you’re full, so eating more slowly prevents you from overeating.
However, mindful eating emerges as a positive direction towards self-discovery and gratitude when we take our time to nourish and listen to our bodies. When we practice mindful eating, it can cultivate gratitude and bring awareness that extends to every aspect of our lives.
If you’re unfamiliar with Friendsgiving, it is pretty much a delightful twist on the traditional Thanksgiving celebration, where people gather together with friends to share gratitude and an abundance of good food. It’s a time to create new memories, share stories, form deeper connections, and appreciate the diverse friendships in our lives. This is a great opportunity to take a moment to pause and reflect on all the good things that are happening around you and to take your time enjoying all the food in front of you.
When you eat at a slower pace, it allows you to feel satisfied before you eat too much. A number of studies have found that when people eat slowly, they are more likely to experience more pleasure from their food and leave more satisfied at the end of their meal. People who eat slowly and are mindful tend to have an easier time digesting their meals as well.
If you struggle with eating fast, here are some helpful tips and benefits to practice mindful eating for a better experience, a better mind and a better way to manage your meals:
1. Use a timer or look at your watch to stretch your meal out to around 30 minutes
This is so that the brain can catch up with our stomach and help curb overeating.
2. Try chewing each mouthful anywhere from 15 to 30 times, depending on the food. As mentioned, eating slowly can help you find more pleasure from food. Mindful eating, or taking the time to savor the various textures, tastes, and scents from your favorite dishes, may help reduce overeating by helping you feel satisfied from each bite.
3. Use fork and knife when possible. Using a fork and knife slows the process and allows you to control the bite size better by cutting smaller pieces. Europeans even eat sandwiches with utensils and they also have a much lower obesity crisis than the U.S.
4. Put your hand or fork down between each mouthful. Here’s a unique way to distract yourself between bites if you’re on a solo restaurant date. Try putting down your utensils and pick up a pen instead to write in your gratitude journal! (or maybe even color in an adult coloring book – whichever activity you fancy more).
5. Mindful eating may improve your mental health, so enjoy a meal with a loved one. A mindful meal can give you a break from the rest of your busy work schedules and help you reset and recharge. What’s even better? Share your lunch break with coworkers, friends or set time aside to sit down with the family for dinner. Setting down your fork between bites, drinking water and conversing can help you feel connected to others.
Mindful eating is a transformative practice that encourages us to engage all our senses while eating a meal. By mindfully eating, we not only enhance the dining experience but also enrich a deeper connection with our food and find gratitude in every bite. As you continue to gather with family and friends during the holiday season, may the practice of mindful eating help you savor not only the food – but also the company, the memories, and the gratitude for the abundance in your life.
If you’d like to learn effective strategies to overcome anxiety and help with weight management, download our ‘Drop The Weight’ hypnosis recording and Hypnosis in NYC. Want to balance and recharge your mind and body, come see us and treat yourself to relaxing Reiki sessions. And, to continue practicing mindful eating, learn how to meditate at Self Empowered Minds.
Self Empowered Minds is here to help you strengthen your mind, empower the positive beliefs you have, and help rebuild new patterns in the brain to support healthier habits. Our services support you in the best way possible so you may fill your life to the brim with love, happiness, family, friends, health, wealth, gratitude, and joy.