Am I hungry? Ask yourself this question the next time you put the fork in your mouth or sip that beverage. Your ability to have present-moment awareness before, during, and after eating is the very act of mindful eating.
We live in a society that overly stresses the importance of multitasking; it’s a highly desired skill, and your ability to do so successfully is generally rewarded in the form of personal, professional, and academic achievement. Because we are a nation of multi-taskers, the act of eating is no longer an isolated event; for most of us, the days of sitting at the dinner table with family and discussing the day’s events are few and far between.
Typically, a good portion of us eat while we watch TV, talk on the phone, walk somewhere, and even when we drive.
As a result, we have become a nation of what I call ‘”fork to mouthers.” In other words, mindless eaters. Eating for some of us has become just another task on our never-ending to-do list. And what are tasks? Responsibilities! Things we MUST do! The once pleasurable act of eating has now become an automatic activity without requiring much awareness of:
- Why we are eating
- What we are eating
- Whether we are satiated
We live in a nation where 75% of the population is either overweight or obese and we are told that we must diet and exercise more to lose weight. Millions still struggle with eating healthily, and the number of our overweight population continues to steadily rise.
- What are we as a society to do?
Could it be time we go back to the drawing board? Back to this kind of dinner:
Like in the days of “Leave it to Beaver,” it’s time we become mindful of what and why we are eating, which is precisely where mindful eating comes in.
Mindful eating is being present within your body long enough not only to hear what your body is hungry for but also to give it the nourishment it needs. The benefits of mindful eating are endless. You can:
- Understand the difference between physiological versus emotional hunger
- Identify triggers and food cravings and effective ways to satisfy them
- Differentiate between hunger and thirst (dehydrations often masquerades itself as hunger)
- Eat for nourishment
- Eat only when hungry and stopping when full
This results in eating well-balanced and healthy meals and increased satiety, all of which equals WEIGHT LOSS!
So, before you raise that fork to your mouth, ask yourself “Am I hungry?”