This practice is simple, but not necessarily easy. For each meal today, try to take a few extra minutes to just – pause.
After each bite of food, put down your utensils. Chew your food thoroughly, enjoying the taste and the texture. Take a breath; take a sip of water. Repeat.
If you want to set a baseline for yourself, trying timing a “normal” meal. Check your watch when you start eating, and again when you finish. Or, set a timer. Then, practice eating slowly, seeing if you can add a minute or so per meal. Or, if that’s a stretch, per day.
If you are trying to lose weight, this is one of the most important habits you can develop. Eating slowly helps you tune in to your body’s hunger and fullness cues; you will actually feel more satisfied with less food. (More work for your “mindfulness muscle”!) As you pause during your meal, do a mini version of yesterday’s mind/body scan: what I am feeling physically? Still hungry? Getting full?
It takes 20 minutes for signals to get from your stomach to your brain to tell you that you’re full. So shoot for stretching that meal time to at least 20 minutes. Let your meals be an opportunity to slow down and take respite from the other busy-ness or anxiety of your day.
I’m not telling you what to eat – eat whatever you want. Just do it slowly.