The Coronavirus lockdown has left us all stuck at home and while many of us are leading a life of inactivity and boredom, we often misconstrue that feeling as hunger, don’t we? We all have had random rounds to our fridge to check if there’s something interesting, isn’t it? Well, turns out, we can control the urge to eat and simply turn our diets around if we put our minds into it.
But before we learn that, let us think of how we were raised as kids? We often skipped breakfast to reach school on time or rushed into drinking that glass of milk. And so now that we are all grown up, most of us tend to finish our meals in no time, or probably, always rush our meals.
But do you know what happens when you eat fast? Your brain takes nearly 20 minutes to get the signal that you are eating, and if we end up finishing our meal off before 20 minutes, let’s say in 10, you are likely to feel hungry for an added 10 minutes since the brain is still processing. It is this delayed response that may result in overeating.
And ultimately, eating too fast or overeating will lead to a dynamo chain of lifestyle issues like obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart issues and so on.
Now to break this vicious circle you need to learn the art of mindful eating & portion control. I am laying down 7 rules so that you can keep a check on the portions you eat. So, irrespective of your fitness goal, these rules will become part of your lifestyle to help you keep a check on what, why and how much you eat.
Let’s get started on with ‘7 days to Mindful Eating & Portion Control!
The first day is going to be about getting a better look at the food you are eating. Admire the food for 30 seconds by simply looking at it, the food, its colors, plating, etc. And while you are at it, reduce the food on your plate to 3/4th of what you generally eat. For instance, if you eat 2 rotis, take only 1 and a half for today. The idea is to satisfy your hunger in a more fulfilling manner.
Today, along with following the rule from day 1, you will try to explore the different tastes that the items on your plate bring out. For example, if you are having khichdi, think about if it is bland, or spicy, or sour, etc.
This might seem to be the most difficult thing to do, especially given the fact how we are all on some kind of gadget all the time. Today, put all the gadgets away and turn off the TV, or similar things while you eat. While this might make you wonder what to do instead, you can simply talk to someone, or simply eat in silence. Don’t forget to follow the first two rules.
Adding the 4th rule to the existing three, on this day, you are supposed to chew your food better, and that means you will take your time to finish every bite. We tend to eat quickly or hog onto food without realizing it, but if not chewed well, we are actually causing poor digestion.
As already mentioned, you are supposed to take at least 20 minutes to finish your meal, and hence, on the 5th day, that is what you are going to aim for. Set a time when you start your meal, and try to go for as long as you can. All this, while following the 4 rules mentioned above.
Today, get yourself to eat smaller bites or use a smaller spoon while chewing properly, and thereby, increasing your digestion. Relish the food, identify the flavours, shut down devices, chew better, take more time, and try to take smaller bites.
And finally, once you are habituated to the aforementioned habits, the last thing to do is to simply spread the food on your plate. While it makes the quantity look more than it is, it also mentally satisfies you, thereby preventing overeating in any form.
In a nutshell
With these 7 rules in place over the span of 7 days, follow all of them together every day and you will see the change for yourself! And these small changes will make eating a meditative process, such that the nutrients from your food will be much better assimilated by the body and result in a slimmer, healthier & happier self.