Dr KK Aggarwal
Most of us lead very busy lives today; we are either working, driving, looking into our smart phone, ipad/tablet etc. In a nutshell, we are too busy to pay attention to what we are eating because we are thinking of the work ahead of us and planning for it and not concentrating on the food.
Eating without awareness or eating while distracted by various activities can be harmful to health. It may cause weight gain, a forerunner to lifestyle diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension etc. Hence, it is important to be aware of the food we are eating. This is called mindful eating.
Mindful eating means being aware of the hunger and satiety signals. It also means using all the five senses while eating: colors (eye), smells (nose), flavors (taste), textures (touch) and sound while chewing (ear) of the food. Mindful eating also relieves stress
In Chapter 6 Shloka 17 of the Bhagwad Gita Krishna says to Arjuna “Yukaharaviharasya yuktachestasya karmasu. Yuktasvapnavabodhasya yoga bhavati duhkhaha”. It means "the one, whose diet and movements are balanced, whose actions are proper, whose hours of sleeping and waking up are regular, and who follows the path of meditation, is the destroyer of pain or unhappiness."
The Bhagwad Gita also says, “While eating, one should concentrate only on eating as the food is served to one's consciousness”.
Eat slowly. The process of digestion begins in the mouth itself. So, you should chew your food at least 15 times. If you chew the food well, you will eat less. You will not only enjoy every bite and savor the food, but also maximally gain the nutritional benefits of the food that you are eating.
Some healthy eating habits
· Eat only when you are hungry.
· Do not eat for pleasure, social obligations or emotional satisfaction.
· Eat at a slow pace. It improves satiety.
· Eat less; dinner less than lunch.
· Take small bites of food, chew well, swallow it and only then take the next bite.
· Do not eat while watching TV, driving a car or watching sports events. The mind is absorbed in these activities and one does not know what and how much one has eaten.
· Do not talk while eating and never enter into heated arguments. The stomach has ears and can listen to the conversation. It will send signals accordingly to the mind and heart.
· Plan and decide in advance what and how much you are going to eat.
(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are my own).