With busy lives, Americans tend to eat while doing other activities whether it’s watching TV, being on the computer or driving. We just eat to satisfy hunger and to get energy to do more important things. Ask yourself, when is the last time you actually sat down at a table simply to only enjoy the taste of your food?
Learning to practice mindful eating can help with weight loss. If you are giving your full attention to what you are eating and the taste, it can help you take more time to eat and enjoy the food. This can help you eat less and feel more full.
There are mediation exercises you can do to help you eat mindfully. The raisin meditation is an exercise where you relax and take time to eat a single raisin.
To practice a short version of the raisin mediation, follow these steps:
1. Place the raisin in your hand. Take the time to look at it and feel it’s texture for 1-2 minutes. What is the texture of the raisin? The color? How does it feel in your hand? Take time to look at all of it’s creases and it’s shape.
2. Slowly move the raisin up to your lips and smell the raisin. Think about what you are smelling. Does the raisin have a scent?
3. Close your eyes and slowly place the raisin into your mouth, but do not start chewing yet. Use your tongue to move it around in your mouth. Focus solely on the raisin and how it feels and tastes.
4. Take one bite into the raisin. Slowly chew. Make note of how your mouth reacts to it. Notice the change in taste after biting into the raisin and how it feels to chew it.
5. Slowly start to swallow the raisin. Let it gently slide down your throat and examine the sensation of swallowing the raisin.
You can do this exercise with any type of food.
Try it with a comfort food, like a piece of rich chocolate, to see how much better it tastes. Once you start eating mindfully, you will enjoy food more and eat more slowly. Practicing a mindful eating mediation on a weekly basis can help you change your eating habits.