Why "Never Eat Alone" is Terrible Advice
When's the last time you ate alone?
Not just without company, but also without your iPhone, without reading material, and without a TV or podcast show on in the background? The truth is, most of us are never fully tuned into the food onto our plates.
Using a stimulating device while we eat draws attention away from what we are putting in our bodies. The extra stimulation can also amplify the numbing effect of food. Instead of having a mindful, nourishing eating experience, we barely remember the quick lunch with coworkers or the bag of potato chips we ate in front of the TV.
By bringing our minds to focus on the food we are eating, we ensure that we will enjoy and remember the experience. This fulfillment means we stay satiated longer, with fewer cravings.
Eating meditation is a great way to lean in to the experience of eating. Bringing meditative focus to our meals will challenge any tendencies to numb or avoid being present.
Mindful eating has helped me see food as nourishment for body, mind and soul. I battled an eating disorder for many years, and this practice played a huge role in my recovery. I highly recommend the eating meditations from Buddhify. I also invite you to try the eating meditation below.
Eating Meditation for Body, Mind & Spirit
- Set up your eating experience: Sit down and squarely face your food. Feel yourself firmly grounded into the earth.
- Acknowledge where your food came from: Thank the growers, the pickers, the supermarket stockers, the chef. Thank the entire supply chain for bringing you your food.
- Next, tune into the food on your plate. Use all five senses to examine the food, noticing color, smell, weight and texture.
- Before eating, pause to notice any thoughts, reactions, or judgments arising about yourself and/or the food.
- Let's eat! Slowly move the food toward your mouth, noticing sensations in your arm and in your mouth.
- Place the food in your mouth, letting it rest on the tongue for at least ten seconds. Close your eyes. (Removing one sense allows heightened awareness of the other four senses. Closing your eyes lets you thoroughly taste and smell your food.)
- Begin to chew slowly, noticing the flavors and how they change as you chew. Be aware of the impulse to swallow.
- After chewing thoroughly, swallow the food…how does this process feel?
Turn off autopilot and tune in to your body! Eating alone is the best way to cultivate gratitude for your whole self fully acknowledge the food in front of you.