Sitting down around a table without distractions of TV or other technology focusing on the simple pleasure of eating a meal is incredibly good for your health.
Recently I have been surprised at the number of people I have done a nutritional coaching session with, who for one reason or another never sit down at a table to eat. Half of them seem to have tables covered in as they call it ‘stuff’ so they routinely eat on the couch or even standing up at the kitchen bench. I’m not trying to get a dig in here, it just honestly surprises (and concerns) me that this seems so common.
It’s just a flat surface and four legs, what is so special about a table you ask?
Eating should be an experience that satisfies more than just hunger or tastebuds (although those are good places to start). It is about nourishing your soul as well as your body.
When you sit in a dedicated place and just focus on eating your body is in the right state to absorb the goodness from the foods you eat. You will be much more in touch with when you feel satisfied as you can focus on the flavours and textures of the meal and you will consequently eat a more appropriate portion and have improved digestion.
All of this is very difficult if you sit eating in front of your computer. I highly recommend avoiding multi-tasking other things alongside eating such as watching TV, listening to the radio, checking emails, scrolling social media and the like. If you are watching TV or distracted in other ways and hardly look at your food as it goes into your mouth you are less likely to chew it properly, to think about what it tastes like and consequently once finished you will only partially register that you have eaten. You are also likely to feel bloated and uncomfortable due to impaired digestion.
Most of us need to slow down and learn to savour our food mindfully!
This single habit change can drastically reduce portion sizes and at the same time increase your satisfaction. (i.e. you won’t feel hungry or deprived aftetrwards.) If you don’t believe I invite you to try eating mindfully for just a few days. Even after a few meals I am sure you will notice the stark difference.
If portion sizes are something you want to get on top of then this tip is the absolute number one place to start.
So, if you too don’t have a table available, consider sourcing one somewhere (an op shop is fine) or choose to de-clutter to uncover the one you already have or just simply make it a habit to use it.
To be honest it is not the table that makes the difference, but the significance of having a certain place to eat. If that just happens to be your back doorstep looking out onto a lovely view – great. The key is to have a regular place that you can associate with eating mindfully and being nourished. Even as you sit down in this place, your body will register that it is about to be fed and will start the pre-digestion mechanism in anticipation.
As well as the health benefits, studies also show that families that eat dinner together on a regular basis have stronger, closer relationships.
That alone is a great reason to sit around the table with whoever makes up your ‘family’ (this may be flatmates, you and your partner, another family member, a houseful of kids or anything in between.)
If you live alone then setting up regular nights of the week to dine with friends (for example Mondays at your place, Thursdays at theirs for example) will add this connection time and sense of family into your week on a regular basis.
Whenever you do dine alone, treat it as a ritual and make a real meal of it, regardless of what you’re eating. Use your nicest crockery and cutlery, make yourself slow down and really look at your food as you eat and ponder your day, dream about your goals or just simply aim to be.
Wishing you much satisfaction as you eat on this glorious day!
Where is your favourite place to eat a meal and why? Please leave a comment below…
If you enjoyed this article, please share it so it can reach more people and help them boost their health and happiness. With thanks in advance.
Share this Post