The Pleasure of Food

Whether you're eating hamburgers on the patio, a hot dog at a baseball game, or a five-course dinner on Valentine's Day, you can use the following principles of eating with elegance and grace. Yes, even if you are eating with babies and small children, you can improve your digestion and enjoy your meal.

Eat Beautifully

Weighty Warning

One of our clients got distressed whenever she didn't receive a scheduled phone call from her boyfriend. Her solution was to order a pizza and take it to bed. Eating to soothe emotions while lying in bed is fattening and not beautiful or sensuous.

Think back to your eating environments for the past three or four days. Have you eaten in the car, in front of the TV, or with your e-mail as a companion? Have you eaten at your desk or during a difficult and emotional discussion? Have you been so upset that you took your dinner to bed with you? In each situation, you're missing an opportunity to eat beautifully and healthfully. Eating beautifully means eating in an environment that is peaceful, health-giving, and enjoyable.

Let's start with the basics. Beautiful eating is eating while seated at a table with utensils, plates, and napkins, maybe even with placemats or a tablecloth. Even better, include flowers, candles, and perhaps a centerpiece.

Next think about the sounds you want to hear when you are enjoying your food. Do you want to hear the evening news, a TV sitcom, or an argument the children are waging? Or do you want lovely music and even better conversation? You will enjoy eating--and will eat more intelligently--if you turn off the TV and focus on your food and your eating companions. Stop reading and just enjoy your food. If the phone rings, you don't need to answer it. That's what voice messaging is for--to handle phone calls when you don't want to. The phone ringing is not a good enough reason to interrupt your enjoyment of your food. Food is such a wonderful thing in and of itself that you don't need a diversion. In fact, it's so wonderful that it deserves your full attention.

In a study of women, some ate while watching an interesting suspense story on television. The others simply ate their food without outside stimulation. The second group ate less food at the meal than those who watched the show.

The most fattening eating can be done when standing up or lying down. How many of us have shoveled in lots of food while standing in front of the kitchen sink staring out the window? Far too many. Eating while sitting sounds so fundamental. People who are at their ideal size are not the people who hover over the hors d'oeuvres at a cocktail buffet. They don't eat a full dinner while standing at the stove cooking dinner. Most adults who are at their ideal size enjoy beautiful meals. So whenever you are hungry, sit down and eat. Don't stand and stuff.

The best way to practice this principle of sitting to eat is to take all of your food and snacks to your place at the dining room or kitchen table. Eat your food there.

Next: Eat calmly >>

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Healthy Weight Loss © 2005 by Lucy Beale and Sandy G. Couvillon. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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