Mindful Eating for Weight Loss
Weight loss is a super popular subject today and many are trying to find a sure-fire way to get it done, be it fad diets or a complete and long-term approach to their current way of eating. Mindful eating is definitely a buzzword that’s getting a bunch of attention as well.
Although not a diet in the traditional meaning, as there are no real food restrictions per se, mindful eating can launch a person into healthier choices thus delivering the desired weight loss effects.
Here are some ways mindful eating can assist in weight loss:
Eat When You’re Hungry
When you are eating mindfully you essentially take the time to figure out why you are eating in the first place. Are you trying to nourish and fuel your body? Are you listening to the cues your body is giving you in response to actually being hungry? Like stomach growling and perhaps getting tired in the middle of the day.
Or are you bored or emotional and reaching for food to bide time or appease you? Instead of eating a meal when you are bored try fixing a cup of tea instead. The actual act of preparing the water, steeping the tea and then waiting for it to cool takes your mind off the imaginary hunger pangs of wanting to snack, and chances are, you’ve already forgotten you wanted to devour a bag of chips and a pint of dip.
Being aware of the why and eating with purpose is the biggest and some say the hardest part.
Eat Colorful and Flavorful Foods
Mindful eating doesn’t have to be boring. Slow down your chewing and really take notice of what you are eating. Baked sweet potato fries are a delicious treat that can give you a healthy carb fix instead of white starches loaded with high-GI carbs or a candy bar. Of course, you have to make smarter choices.
Mindful eating isn’t magic. However, if you actually taste your food and retrain your brain to appreciate and savor the flavors of healthier foods, choosing sweet and crunchy carrots over a bag of carb-loaded starchy chips that taste like grease and salt becomes much easier.
Unplug and Eat
Turn off the devices. Pay attention to each bite. Taste your food. Eventually, your brain is going to associate joy with the choices you are making because you are actually learning to taste and appreciate your food. When you unplug the devices and actually eat without distraction, it’s also much easier to tell when you are full and stop.
Stop Food Guilt
Look, you don’t have to give up donuts and swear off soda altogether. Be aware of your caloric intake and the quality of food you are eating, but don’t hyper-focus on it. That only leads to food-guilt when you “cheat” on a diet. Mindful eating isn’t a diet.
This is a purposeful way of eating. It’s okay to be excited about the company picnic where the fabulous aroma of BBQ is in the air a mile away. Just keep your wits about you; drink a bottle of water before you fix that plate, eat only until you are full and don’t forget to enjoy each and every bite. If you eliminate the guilt, you are less likely to overeat.
When you are truly eating mindfully, you are more aware of your body and the requirements to satiate it. You can differentiate between boredom and hunger and develop the will-power to eat when appropriate. When we stop wasting time with fad diets to lose weight and concentrate more on mindful eating practices, weight loss becomes secondary and nearly effortless.