Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Relaxed Snacks

Most of us have grown accustomed to snacking while being in the middle of another activity. We bite into an apple as we run out the door. We eat a protein bar in front of the computer screen. We have a piece of cake while talking to a friend. Let's face it, we're never quite alone with our food, are we?
All this distraction distracts us (duh!) from the experience of eating our food.
Have you ever suddenly realized you finished a snack, but can't quite remember what it tasted like? You got so caught up in doing whatever else you were doing, that the eating became automatic. It's a sure way to make you eat more. Now how's that diet going? Losing weight yet?

Picture by Martin Boulanger
Right, so that's not the way we want to go.
How about you try this next trick when you're about to eat your next snack.
Find a place where it's just you. If you're at the office, put the screen saver on for a while. Are you at home? Then ask the kids to give you just 5 minutes.
Unwrap, peel, prepare your snack with care. Put it on a nice plate. Get a class of water or a cup of coffee on the side. All this shouldn't take you very long. A couple of minutes at most.
Sit down and look at your snack. Anticipate how it will taste, how much you want it, how it'll make you feel.
Then, take a bite. Savor it. Be aware that there is only one first bite, and it's the best bite. Take a sip of water or coffee and ... repeat.
It will seem as if you're taking much longer to finish your snack, but the focused activity of eating takes you away from all the other stuff and lets your mind relax. You will start again on your other activities with renewed energy.

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