Get in the mood and masticate. And be sure to enjoy it. That's what mindful eating boils down to -- chewing and awareness -- and also what experts say is the No. 1 thing you're forgetting to do if you're trying to shed the pounds.
Like most weight-loss strategies, mindful eating is simple, but not easy. You have to be aware of your food choices, preparation, and enjoyment. Eventually, you'll incorporate all your senses, including hunger and satiety, to appreciate and understand your relationship with food.
Are you hungry, or are you bored?
People eat for a variety of reasons, actual hunger to boredom, broken hearts to social pressures. The challenge is understanding why you choose the foods you do, and how you eat and enjoy them.
"Mindless eating, or eating while distracted, can lead to overeating and the consumption of foods that aren't really what you or your body want at that moment," Lara Felton, a registered dietitian, says. "Mindful eating, this practice limits overeating, is better for your energy and stress levels, and may even help you discover some foods that you just don't like."