Losing weight is not just about eating less and moving more. It’s not an easy thing to do to restrict your daily calory intake and to start exercising if you don’t really enjoy it.
We need a few tools to help us do that and mindful eating is just one simple tool you can add to your daily routine.
When you are mindfully eating, you’re not thoughtlessly filling yourself with food. You are also not preoccupied with thoughts around how much you should or shouldn’t eat or how many calories is in that meal, or any other unhelpful thoughts that you might have.
The key to eating mindfully is that you keep practicing it, like any new habit, until it becomes automatic. The more you do it the easier it gets.
Why should you try to practice mindful eating?
There is lots of research evidence, that mindful eating will help you lose weight. One study, for example, tracked more than 1,400 mindful eaters and showed them to have lower body weights, a greater sense of well-being, and fewer symptoms of eating disorders.
That is quite an amazing result as the study participants did not change what food they ate, they just ate their meals mindfully.
When you are eating mindfully your body is satisfied with less because it’s getting more sensation and more satisfaction from the food that you are eating. The reason for this is that it takes about 20 minutes for your body’s satiety signals to register. Eating slowly allows your body time to register when you are full and give you a chance to stop eating when you are physically full.
Another reason for feeling full with eating less food is psychological. When you eat slowly and mindfully you will feel satisfied and feel less deprived, because your senses are more tuned in to tastes, smells and textures.
💥TIPS ON HOW TO EAT MINDFULLY💥
✅ Eat your meals sitting down and without distraction (avoid standing up and grabbing a quick bite, or eating in the car)
✅ Turn off the TV, put your phone away, sit somewhere where you can focus on the food in front of you.
✅ When you sit down to eat, pause for a moment and take a few breaths.
✅ Look at the food on your plate and notice the shape, colour and smell of food.
✅ Take small bites, chew slowly and be aware of the flovours of the food.
✅ Put your knife and fork down for a few seconds between bites.
✅ Check-in a few times if you are still hungry. Are you eating because you are still hungry or just because you want more food?
✅ Leave a small amount of food on your plate. You don’t have to finish everything that is on your plate.
I recommend to my clients to start off any new habits with the tiniest step they can manage. This way you don’t feel overwhelmed and it’s easy to do. Start off with just one of your meals a day, once a week. Pick a meal where it will be really easy to do anyway.
Keep practicing it and it will become automatic and you will eat less and enjoy your food more.
Trust in the process, and build on the one meal a day per week.