Can bringing awareness to what we eat, when we eat, why we eat, and how we eat help us lose weight? The answer is YES with capital letters.
We consume so many calories without realizing, without knowing, and without being aware. This kind of eating will lead to weight gain and dissatisfaction, for sure. How many times have we nibbled before a meal, or ran to the fridge to grab something because we are bored, or filled ourselves with junk food and still felt hungry.? For many, the answer is too many times…
Mindful eating is an effective tool to help you lose weight, It involves slowing you down, observing and paying attention to the food you are bringing to your body. That moment of mindfulness allows you to focus all your senses on the food that you are eating and have a moment of refection on why, what and how you are eating. Mindful eating also helps you become aware to hear what your body is telling you about hunger and satisfaction.
It is however a practice which needs repetition- so don’t expect to do it once and weight will disappear if you practice daily and every time you eat it will become a habit- and that is the objective.
Here are some tips which will help you become more mindful and leaner:
1. Be motivated to start being more mindful. Being motivated and committed to eating mindfully is the first step.
2. Don’t eat when you're bored. It really does not help. If you are bored try to find other distractions which will have longer impact. Call a friend, go for a walk or run, play a game, journal.
3. Ask yourself the 4 questions: Why am I eating? Am I really hungry? How am I eating? Am I sitting down or standing, When am I eating? Did I just have lunch, is it after 8:00pm? What am I eating? Does it nourish my body?
4. Appreciate your food. It is important to take a moment before starting to eat to appreciate the food, to smell the food, the texture, the colors and to be grateful for it.
5. Take a Breath: Super important, before and during the meal, take a moment to take a few deep breath. This will relax your nervous system and will help you eat slower.
6. Chew your few. Become mindful of how many times you chew. Once you realize that you need 15-20 chews before swallowing you will eat less and appreciate the food more.
7. Avoid distractions while eating. To feel full you need to eat with no distraction. You probably know that when you asked yourself who ate the whole popcorn bowl while watching TV.
8. Choose smaller portions or put your food on a smaller plate. This will allow you to fill up and then to really listen intuitively to your body if you need seconds.
Of course there are times we have to rush, eat on the go, or just grab something quickly, but if we can manage one mindful meal a day, that can be a starting point for weight-loss.