Mindful Eating: How to Feel Full with Less Food

Eat well, eat less.Eat well, eat less.We're conditioned to constantly overeat, but these simple tricks from the book 'Eating Mindfully' can help you have a happier relationship with your plate.

1. Switch Hands
If you're a righty, put your fork or spoon in your left hand for a change. You'll have to work a little harder on hand-mouth coordination, which will shift you out of autopilot or mindless eating (i.e., inhaling your lunch in mere minutes) into mindful eating which involves eating consciously, staying more focused during mealtime, and ultimately eating less while still feeling satisfied.

2. Turn Your Fork Upside Down
Do you stab or scoop with your fork? Americans tend to scoop up food, which can promote mindless eating; British people, on the other hand, keep their forks turned down and stab food to pick it up.

Another utensil trick: Pick smaller ones. A baby spoon or shrimp fork will slow down your eating pace and help you take smaller bites.

3. Take One Bite at a Time
We've all scarfed down food too quickly while trying to rush-eat before a meeting or finish breakfast on a hectic weekday. You will eat more mindfully if you take small bites, chew them thoroughly and finish one bite before moving on to the next. Don't let yourself go for another bite until your mouth is completely empty of the current one.

4.Institute an Intermission
Deliberately slow down a meal by setting a break, like at a play between acts. Use the intermission to take a drink, put down your fork to tell a story, or just get up stretch your legs.

5.Pace Yourself
Are you always the first member of the Clean Plate Club? Consider it a sign you're chowing too quickly. Use your fellow diners to help set a pace-observe who is eating fastest and slowest, and aim to eat on par or slower than the slowest eater at the table.

6. Try Chopsticks
They're not just for sushi! Use this Asian staple instead of a fork and knife. Challenging the way you usually eat will help you take smaller portions, eat more slowly, and look at your food more closely.

7.Eat, Don't Multitask
If it's hard to imagine eating lunch away from your desk or dinner not in front of the TV, challenge yourself to eat without distractions-and your waistline may thank you. Research shows that eating in front of the TV increases food intake by 14 percent; talking to a friend while you chow can boost consumption by 18 percent. Explains Albers: Doing two things at once inhibits concentration and awareness.
--Lauren Gelman

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