Do You Notice What You Eat?
A while ago, I came across an interview with Ade Edmondson on his Masterchef win. For me, the most interesting part of it was Edmondson’s views on eating and how being conscious of what you eat can do much to reduce food cravings and reduce excessive food intake. You can read the full article here: http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/life/469279/Adrian-Edmondson-Bottom-Rik-Mayall-Celebrity-MasterChef-and-The-Bad-Shepherds
When people come to see me to lose weight, I ask them how they eat, if they notice what they’re eating and really taste it. Usually after some careful thought, people will respond that no, they don’t think they do. I’m not saying that in order to lose weight all you need to do is notice what you eat, fully savour it and chew it thoroughly. Usually there is more to it than that. It can be a contributing factor though.
When we do something and are fully present to it, we have a total experience of it. That means that we can gain more pleasure from it and because of the satisfaction to our senses, paradoxically eat less or at least know when we are full.
When we eat whilst doing something else, whether that be watching TV, having a heated conversation with someone, or something else, we deprive ourselves of the wonderful sensory experience that is eating. We also eat automatically, that is with our focus on something else we become less aware of the eating experience or indeed oblivious to it. In this way, it is easy for our bad habits to gain the upper hand.
I watched an episode some weeks ago on Channel 4 of “Secret Eaters”. The mother and daughter filmed could not account for their weight gain stating that they ate moderately and relatively healthily. Filmed and followed by Private Investigators, both of them were visibly shocked when they saw footage of themselves eating large amounts of food, snacking and bingeing. The fact is that because they ate irregularly and whilst doing other things, they were largely unaware of what and how much they were eating.
It was suggested during that episode that there is evidence to support the notion that setting a place at a table and sitting down to eat a meal leads to less snacking at other times. With the focus purely on eating, you stay present with what you are doing and aware.
I have created a free mp3 called “Conscious Eating” that you can download from this page. Try it and see if it encourages you to become more present when you are eating.