In the quest to stay fit, it can be easy to jump down the rabbit-hole of optimizing carbs, fats, protein and micronutrients. But most people's problem is much more straightforward. They eat too much. Over-shooting your dietary needs by just a hundred calories a day will be enough to bury your abs under a blanket of fat by month’s end.
One of the most effective ways to not overeat is to eat with attention. The feeling of being satisfied by a meal or snack is about much more than the amount of calories you consumed. It’s about the process of eating itself.
A food lover knows that cuisine is a complicated, sensual experience. There’s the visual component, the color and shape of the portion. There’s the smell of the food hitting the back of your throat, the temperature of it as it first brushes your lips, the texture as your tongue works it around your mouth, and finally the unfolding taste as your teeth and saliva break down the food and release subtle flavors.
If you eat food with attention to all these aspects your brain is going to get the message: I ate something and I am full!
Contrast this with eating mindlessly in front of a screen. You barely look at the food. You tend to gulp down each bite with very little chewing, meaning the only flavors you’ll pick up are the blunt notes of salt, sugar, and fattiness. When you eat while doing something else you’re not giving the brain a chance to register the meal.
You'll be far less satisfied and hungry again in no time.
If you want to have a successful long term eating regime without cravings, when you eat, just eat. Be it a gourmet meal at a nice restaurant or a plain old apple, make a point not to do anything else while you eat. This approach will not only mean you eat less, but that you tend towards choosing foods that are fresh and wholesome. When you're paying attention to what you eat, you tend to not want to eat junk.
We know how tempting the screens of your computer and phone can be during mealtime. But if you're serious about maintaining your low body fat you'll consider mindful eating as important a part of your training as squats and push-ups!