To really taste food you need to concentrate! I know that sounds strange but I bet that you – like me – have eaten lots of meals but not really tasted the food. You get to the end of the meal and all you have really tasted was the first mouthful. You wanted to make sure that it was not too hot, or simply that you were going to like it. Perhaps you were also checking whether or not it needed seasoning.
So that first taste is possibly the only time during the meal that you will really taste it. What a waste! After that first taste, you’ll go back to watching the TV or to talking to others at the dinner table. You may be thinking about your work, or other thoughts may be troubling you. You’ve spent all that money on the meal, and even on preparing and cooking it, and yet you haven’t really tasted it.
You’ll also find that if you don’t concentrate on your food, you won’t know when you’ve had enough. Instead of knowing when you’ve eaten enough, you might end up feeling very uncomfortable because you’ve eaten too much. Even if you enjoy a meal, the enjoyment disappears when you feel bloated.
Using Mindfulness To Enjoy Your Food
On this blog I talk a lot about ‘mindfulness’. Mindfulness is all about doing one thing at a time, and concentrating on that one thing. You are in the moment. Not thinking about yesterday, or the past, nor planning for the future. Your whole focus is on the NOW. When you eat in this way, you’ll taste every mouthful; you’ll taste all the flavours, and you’ll know when you’re full.
How To Eat Mindfully
When you sit down to eat, do the following to eat mindfully:
- Don’t eat in front of the television.
- Spend a minute or two really looking at the food on your plate – at the colours and textures.
- Think about how your food has got to your plate – the harvesting of the food, the weather that has made the food grow – the sunshine and the rain.
- When you put the food in your mouth, really concentrate on tasting the different flavours – the sweetness of oranges or the hotness of the chillies.
- Chew the food for longer than you normally do. It takes 20 minutes before the stomach registers any feeling of fulness. So the longer you chew your food more likely it will be that you will know when you are full.
- Don’t eat everything on your plate if you don’t want to. Stop eating when you start to register feelings of fulness.