Adopt a new set of eating skills each day for five days. ‘It takes about 20 to 30 attempts at a new habit to rewire your brain for a permanent change,’ says Gaynor Bussell, independent nutritionist for the Kallo Food Academy. ‘So persist and don’t beat yourself up if you fall off the rails and eat mindlessly. Just think carefully about what’s happened and why.’ Day one Allow at least 20 minutes for each meal and give the food your full attention. Take pleasure in planning meals and snacks and gather ingredients in advance to resist eating whatever’s around. Day two Enjoy preparing food. ‘Make it a creative art, even if it’s just putting a topping on some rice cakes,’ says Bussell. Eat before you get ravenous. Day three Make eating an aesthetic experience. For example, use a napkin, placemat, your best crockery (but keep your plate small). Notice each mouthful as you eat; relax, chew thoroughly and be aware of the flavor and texture of your food. Day four Keep your mind on the food –
don’t let it wander to other subjects. Consider how it arrived on your plate and how you prepared it. Connect with the food and think about how it’s nourishing your body and mind. Day five Notice how full you feel and stop when you feel pleasantly satisfied not stuffed. After eating, note the meal is over and clear away. ‘Don’t consider this a chore but just the completion of the meal. Think how nice the food was and how you feel,’ says Bussell.