How 'the sultana exercise' can help you lose weight

The five minute trick could be the secret to re-establishing a healthy relationship with food

Rachel Hosie
Monday 27 February 2017 11:42
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We all have to eat to stay alive, but how often do you actually savour your food?

The concept of mindful eating is nothing new - for years, health gurus have extolled the virtues of appreciating your food instead of mindlessly shoving it into your mouth.

Studies have shown that eating mindfully results in weightloss with minimal effort, but just how exactly do you do it?

One expert has revealed her tried and tested technique to help us eat mindfully - it’s called 'the sultana exercise'.

According to Charlotte Thaarup, Australian clinical mindfulness consultant and director of The Mindfulness Clinic, doing this single exercise with a sultana is all we need to do to keep us eating consciously.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Take a sultana and spend five minutes “using your five senses with it”
  2. Look at it, noticing the texture and colour
  3. Feel it in your hand
  4. Smell it
  5. Taste it, rolling it around your tongue and noticing how it feels between your teeth.

According to Thaarup, the sultana exercise could help you eat better and binge less, the Mail Online reports.

Mindful eating has for a while been touted as a way to help people re-establish a healthy relationship with food.

“Whether you want to lose weight, call a truce in the war with your dear body, change your relationship with food, or reduce your daily stress by making healthier choices,” Thaarup says eating mindfully can help.

As well as the sultana exercise, other ways to encourage mindful eating involve:

  • Putting your cutlery down in between mouthfuls
  • Noticing your thought processes as you eat
  • Making meals memorable by laying the table nicely 
  • Eating slowly
  • Sitting at a table rather than in front of the TV
  • Keeping a food diary.

For a lot of people, however, eating mindfully becomes harder when dining with other people - it’s hard to pay attention to what your companions are saying if you’re also focussing on every mouthful you chew.

But if you can manage it, mindful eating really could be the easiest way of all not only to stop overeating but also to get more pleasure from food.

One study, for example, found that people who ate chocolate mindfully were left in a better mood than those who didn’t bother to really enjoy it.

So perhaps it’s time to grab a sultana and mindfully eat your way to health, happiness and harmony.

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