Working in and around the bustling metropolis that is London you quickly realise that everything is happening at a tremendously fast pace and no-one has time for anything it would seem. There is a Pret on every corner and come lunchtime everyone flocks out to grab that quick bite to eat on the way to their next meeting, to consume mindlessly in front of their computer screen or whilst doing countless other things.
I used to be a stupidly fast eater, as soon as I sat down, I inhaled my food to the point where on multiple occasions during family meals, I would be instructed to slow down as apparently it was “awkward” me finishing so fast and sitting there almost like a puppy begging for more (This wasn’t intentional must just be my default look). But these days I have changed all and have discovered the huge benefits of being more aware and mindful when I am eating or perhaps more importantly snacking.
I have to admit this is a bit of an ad-hoc post, walking into the office each day I see countless business men & women walking around the streets of London munching on their snacks or sandwiches and today whilst watching a women walking past me struggling to carry all her bags and get half of her Tesco sandwich into her mouth at the same time I just thought to myself “PLEASE, PLEASE JUST STOP”. I mean, I know everyone is different. Food means a lot to me, to others it is just a necessary fuel to keep them functioning, I started thinking how since I have become more mindful whilst eating I feel better, my digestion is better, I feel fuller for longer and hell I generally enjoy my food more and appreciate it more.
So what do I mean by “Mindful” eating? For me its all about taking my time and appreciating what I am eating, really being aware of the fact I am eating and not just throwing food in my face as I watch TV or am focusing on something else. So what? I am just supposed to sit there and stare at my plate concentrating fully on every single chew of my food I hear you say? In my humble opinion no not at all. One of the big changes I have made, is to the way I snack, rather than just repeatedly reaching into the bag of nuts at my desk and stuffing them in my mouth. Before I leave the house I will portion out my allowance for the day say 35grams and have these in their own Tupperware box, this way when I go to eat them I can see exactly what I have and I just eat one nut at a time, that is it just one taking my time to appreciate the flavour and textures of what I am eating. Don’t get me wrong I am still working at the same time but I am just slowing down the hand to mouth (think of dirty joke here) action, I once actually made 35 grams of nuts last an hour, now that might be a bit over the top but you catch my drift. I have now applied this “philosophy” to all my eating savouring every bite I mean come on you took the time to make this delicious food (or someone else did) you may as well enjoy it to its fullest right?
For me this isn’t a major or big change at all, in fact some might argue it isn’t a change at all its just slowing down, taking your time and appreciating food on another level, setting aside that bit of brain power to fully absorb what you are putting into your body for me has lead to an increased food experience and I truly believe has contributed massively to the weight loss I have achieved over the last 6 months.
Anyway, that’s my two cents, just take a step back and take those extra few seconds & those few extra chews to really enjoy.