In 1960, Rod Serling introduced his TV show by saying: “You are about to enter another dimension. A dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. That’s the signpost up ahead -- your next stop -- The Twilight Zone.” Well, we’d like to take you into another dimension too, one we call ... The Mindful Eating Zone. That’s a dimension where you’re aware not only of sight and sound, but of taste! Have you ever visited?
If you can accurately answer the questions “What did you eat yesterday?” and “Where did you eat it?” you’re in the Mindful Eating Zone. If you can’t, you’re not in the Zone, and that increases the chance that you and your kids are overweight and nutritionally deprived.
Fortunately, recent research shows it’s not hard to increase your awareness of what you’re eating, and the rewards are a healthier diet, weight control and a more energized, optimistic take on your day.
Start by making sure you’re sitting down, facing your food, with no digital distractions. Look at the food on your plate. Notice the colors, the texture, the smell. (Not so pleasing to notice? Go get a colorful mix of foods; eliminate added sugars and fatty or fried foods.) As you eat, notice how each bite feels in your mouth. Slow down. Chew it thoroughly. Then at the end of the day write down everything you remember eating. Now when you prepare and eat your food, you’ll have a new awareness. That’s called staying in the zone.
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Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.