One specific thing I have changed is a focus on being in the moment more. I am a confessed workaholic always on the go. Previously I often rushed meals not really noticing what I was eating. So often I would pick something that filled me up instead of something that tasted good. I focused on quantity over quality.
These days I make sure I take time each day to properly enjoy food or anything else fun. I didn’t realise before but my brain can only process so much information at once. Taste and other sensations are just part of the information the brain can process. If there is too much information flowing around these simple information like this can get loss in all the noise just like anything else.
So I tried an experiment to see if I could really appreciate a meal while also reading something interesting like Facebook. I found I couldn’t because I was too distracted by reading. I could enjoy strong flavoured foods, generally fast food type stuff but not the really special stuff with more subtle flavours. What I also found is that if I didn’t appreciate the taste and sensation of the meal then it felt like I hadn’t eaten at all. To the point that I was still hungry.
My stomach might not have been crying out for food but my mind was because it was expecting some food based entertainment. So I reach for a biscuit, get another drink or pop to the shop for food even though I had already eaten a full meal.
This got me thinking. Is it then possible to completely forget a meal? So I carried on doing the normal things I do at the same time as eating. True enough I started to notice times when I couldn’t remember whether I had eaten. I was not yet hungry but the meal time had passed. You know that situation when you weigh up whether you will be really hungry if you don’t eat. I checked with my wife what I had eaten. Even when she reminded me of the meal I had enjoyed including a whole pizza I couldn’t remember the experience of eating it all. It was my favourite pizza as well but I had rushed eating it. Paying no attention. I felt like I had been robbed of a special moment. It seemed weird but I felt empty.
Food does have a special place in my heart. But now I was in that unhappy place where I couldn’t or shouldn’t eat anything more. I had eaten plenty but I felt empty because I couldn’t remember it. I had the urge all night for more. I paid attention to breakfast I can tell you. That was a special meal that day 🙂
Experiences like these remind me to make sure I experience my food and other special moments because they really are good for my soul as well as my body. This small change has made a huge difference. I can really feel just how much it helps me to enjoy my food more and as a consequence, eat less.
So tell me am I alone or have you experienced this yourself or anything like it? Does paying more attention to your meal help you enjoy it more and maybe crave less extra food?