Mindful eating is a very useful strategy for losing weight. It is a practice that calls for a greater level of awareness at all times, leading to a healthier body and a more peaceful mind.
About Mindful Eating
Mindful eating has its roots in Eastern philosophy and belief systems. It comes from a belief in mindfulness, which calls for being aware of your thoughts, emotions and body at all times. When you engage in mindful eating, you are eating because you are hungry and because the foods you choose are going to nourish your body.
The practice of mindful eating is very useful in weight loss efforts because it encourages you to establish healthy eating patterns. For example, many people eat because they are under stress or bored. When you practice mindful eating, you are present and in the moment. When you have a craving for a particular food or decide it’s time to eat, you check in with yourself to make sure that you are truly hungry.
If you find that you are drawn to food as a way of easing your stress or because you are bored, this awareness allows you to make better choices. In that moment, you may decide to forgo the meal or snack realizing that you are truly not hungry. You may decide to go for a walk instead, sit and meditate, read an enlightening book, or call a friend who can lend a listening ear.
Being Present and Compassionate
Also part of the practice of mindfulness is being compassionate and non-judgmental. You can also apply this toward yourself when dieting. If you do go off your plan or overeat, being compassionate toward yourself means acknowledging that you overate but that tomorrow is another day. It means letting things go and when you do this, you decrease your dieting stress.
When you practice mindful eating, you enjoy your food more. It is easy when the mind is scattered, or when you’re multi-tasking, to eat very quickly or not really taste your food. When you are mindful during your meals, you may realize that you are not chewing your food enough, that you’re eating too fast, or that the food you have chosen does not offer the best nourishment for your body.
People who practice mindful eating are ordinary people. This practice does not require absolute silence or being isolated. You can start by simply cutting down on the number of distractions during mealtime. Figure out what things are taking up your energy and minimize those distractions. For example, if you become very engrossed in watching television during mealtime, maybe play relaxing music instead. If you find that you are always eating lunch in the car or on the run, make 15 minutes of more time each day to sit and enjoy your lunch.
Mindful eating is a great way to tune into your body, thoughts and emotions. When you do this, you’ll find that little by little, you are clearer about why you are eating. This makes it easier to choose healthier foods and portions that lead to weight loss over time.