“The Beck Diet Solution” Day 5: Eat Slowly and Mindfully
In this chapter, Beck cites a research study that found people eat less when they eat more slowly. So, eating slowly can be a crucial part of dieting. She says that scientists generally agree there’s about a 20-minute lag between when your stomach feels full, and when your brain catches up that you’re full. By eating slower, you give your brain more time to get that “I’m full” message so you don’t overeat.
Mindfulness while eating means being more aware of your food. Notice the flavor, temperature, texture of the food as you slowly eat it. Hopefully, this will increase your “psychological satisfaction” with your meal. This reminded me of a raisin meditation I did in an undergraduate psychology course. The linked meditation is a bit too detailed, but mindful eating has the same idea: pay attention to your food as you’re eating it.
I admit that I was really, really bad at this. I was okay at breakfast; it took me 11 minutes to eat a bowl of cereal, which seems like a long time for such a small amount of food. Later, halfway through my lunch, I realized I hadn’t been paying any attention to what I was eating! I was discussing a case with my colleagues, and absolutely wasn’t being mindful about what I was putting in my mouth. I reminded myself to slow down and really notice the food, and got back on track. Evening, however, was the worst! I met some friends at the movies and automatically grabbed a handful of popcorn–without thinking about it, without sitting down. Again, I noticed my mistake, and was more careful for the rest of the night. Throughout dinner, I succeeded in “eating slowly and mindfully.” Today had its ups and downs, but I have to give myself credit: I noticed each time I slipped up, and corrected myself.