The practice of mindful eating has emerged in recent years to help people establish or restore a positive connection with food. Although the concept has roots in Buddhist philosophy, table etiquette standards echo the same principles. Mindful eating calls for a radical shift in perspective from today’s prevalent tendency toward mindless overindulgence. Mindful eating draws all the senses into choosing and experiencing foods that satisfy and nourish. The practice makes us more conscious of the inner wisdom of our bodies to determine satiety. Mindful eating helps us learn to savor every moment and bite.
Mindful eating begins with eating slowly. Take small bites and chew 20 to 30 times, putting down the eating utensil between each bite. This allows time for the brain to register feelings of satiety, normally about 20 minutes. A 2014 meta-analysis study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition determined that slower eating rates contribute to marked reductions in food consumption. While chewing, note flavors and textures. Pause to consider where the ingredients came from, what spices stand out, or how the food feels in the mouth. Drink water between bites.
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