Eat Mindfully and Lose Weight!
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness evolved from a Buddhist practice of meditation and is one of the many techniques used to develop calm, clear and wholesome state of mind. To be mindful is to be fully aware of what is happening within ourselves and around us at any given moment. It involves bringing our attention to all of the internal and external experiences and noticing our thoughts and feelings as they arise, without acting on them.
How Can Mindfulness Help with Weight Loss?
The research about using mindfulness for weight loss is growing and sounds promising:
“It may reduce negative thoughts and feelings that can encourage over-eating, and it may also improve resilience to help deal with the hunger pangs and increased physical activity …”- suggests NHS
According to Harvard Medical School “… a slower, more thoughtful way of eating could help with weight problems and maybe steer some people away from processed food and unhealthy choices.”
Eating mindfully means fully concentrating on the eating experience. Noticing colours, smells, textures and flavours of the food makes us aware of what we are eating and how much we are eating. It is all about slowing down, getting rid of all the distractions and fully enjoying every single mouthful. Practising mindful eating reconnects our minds and bodies and helps us recognise what our bodies truly need.
Here are some benefits of mindful eating:
- It takes about 20 min for the brain to register satiety. Slowing down eating gives our brains time to receive information about our stomachs getting full.
- Focusing fully on your plate and cutting off all of the distractions allows you to notice what you are eating. When we pay attention to what we eat, we eat less.
- Focusing on the internal sensations before and during eating helps us to tune into our bodies’ signals of hunger and fullness. Being aware of the food slowly dropping down and filling up our stomachs helps us to stop eating at the right time.
- Fully enjoying food, noticing colours, smells, textures, flavours and delighting in every bite helps to satisfy our cravings.
- Creating healthy eating environment by cutting out distractions, eating at the table at regular times, using cutlery instead of fingers – protects us from eating mindlessly and overeating.
Things you can do now to practise mindful eating:
- Slow down – relax, breathe and chew properly. Make every bite a conscious choice. Take your time by putting down cutlery after each mouthful and pick it up when your mouth is empty, it will help you stop automatic eating.
- Eliminate all the distractions- no screens, papers, books, no multitasking. When you eat, do just that.
- Enjoy the food you eat