Try a meal using the rules stated here. How do these rules change your eating? Do they force you to pay more attention to your meal? Share your experiences.
Balance and Harmony
Most eaters are shovelers.
We don't just use silverware to bring food to the mouth---we use it to shovel food in as fast as possible. The next time you're in a restaurant, look around and watch how others eat. Many will be loading up with a mouthful of food and, before they've even chewed a few times, they're getting another huge fork-full ready to load in on top of the food already in the mouth.
But just because we've learned early on to eat this way, it doesn't mean that we have to continue. It's possible to bring mindfulness to our meals, and we can use our silverware to help us!
Here's how to use your silverware to bring more mindfulness to your meals.
As you pick up a piece of silverware, pay attention to the feel of it in your fingers.
Whatever you do to your food with your silverware, do it mindfully: scooping, turning, grabbing, spreading, cutting, arranging, mixing and stirring, to name a few.
After you've put food in your mouth, don't start chewing. First, put your silverware down and put your hands in your lap. Then (and only then) start chewing. This is extremely important and powerful. The mere act of setting down silverware between each bite has an enormous impact on the rhythm and dynamic of your eating.
Wait until all the food is chewed and swallowed before you touch your silverware again.
Some foods don't require silverware. These are the "finger foods": sandwiches, pizza, chips, fries, etc. But you can adapt the rules to work here. Simply put: place food in your mouth and return your hands to a rest position before you begin chewing. Only after the food is completely chewed and swallowed should you bring your hands to the next food item. The important thing here is to put the food down between each bite.