Everywhere you look these days, there's food. From the Pinterest boards packed full of luscious-looking photos and recipes, to delicacies from all over the world in your local supermarket, food is not just for nourishment any more. It's also a hobby that people enjoy, and in some cases, explore through hands-on experience. In most cases, this means learning how to cook themselves. In other cases, it might even mean learning how to grow your own food, to save money and to access fresh ingredients that are grown organically.
One obvious issue with the joy of food in the West, however, is that it can lead to excessive consumption. Let's look in the first section at enjoying food mindfully.
MINDFUL VERSUS MINDLESS EATING
To be mindful is to pay attention to something. The opposite is mindless. If you've ever sat down to watch a movie with an entire box or bag of popcorn and then wondered where it all went, you have a pretty good idea of what mindless eating is all about.
Tips for Eating Mindfully
By contrast, mindful eating means paying attention to and savoring every mouthful. This is a great way to not only enjoy your food more, but also to actually slim down. Studies have shown that it takes around twenty minutes for your brain to receive a signal that your stomach is full. If you rush when you are eating, or eat while doing something else, it's easy to cram in far more calories than you wish to. Combined with a lack of exercise, this can lead to weight gain.
The joy of food is all around us, though it can be less than joyful for people who struggle with their weight. However, new thinking about "dieting" can help. If we call it an "eating lifestyle" instead, it seems less restrictive and more within our control.
The traffic light system can also help, because there is no such thing as forbidden foods. Green for go, yellow for caution when it comes to calories, and red for being alert. Eat the yellow and red light foods sparingly. This means you can enjoy whatever foods you like as long as you eat them in moderation.
For example, if you love chocolate, allow yourself one piece of high-quality chocolate each day and sit and savor it, letting it melt in your mouth slowly - enjoying the taste of it and the feel of it in your mouth instead of chewing through it and then wanting more.