Mindful eating is all about giving your meals undivided attention.
Many people are so busy, they eat mindlessly while driving, watching television or surfing the internet.
Additionally, most folks struggle with uncontrollable cravings for junk food.
These two eating hurdles make losing weight feel like torture because they increase the chances of overeating.
Frankly, breaking the insidious cycle of overeating is challenging. But it is not impossible, especially if you capitalize on mindful eating.
What is Mindful Eating?
Mindful eating is a technique of being fully aware (and avoiding distractions) while eating.
It enables you to focus your complete attention to your meal while you savor each bite. It is not a diet and doesn’t have anything to do with dieting.
Mindful eating has to do with your mind and keenly observing anything that may distract you from the eating experience. Distraction can occur via your thoughts or by watching the TV.
Mindful eating is not a quick fix, but a long-term solution that anyone can use. You may be thrilled to know that numerous studies have proven this technique to be incredibly effective.
Below, you’ll discover 12 mindful eating strategies you can follow to avoid overeating and lose weight effortlessly.
The Best Mindful Eating Strategies
1. Ask yourself: “Am I really hungry?”
Some people eat just because the food is there, and not because they are hungry. Others usually eat because they are bored. This is why you need to ask yourself whether or not you’re really hungry before you eat.
Listen to your body cues to determine how hungry you are. Hunger pangs, lightheadedness, feeling cranky or unfocused, and growling of the stomach are all signs that indicate you may be hungry.
Increasing your recognition of both physical hunger and fullness cues will help you distinguish emotional hunger from physical hunger.
If you feel like eating just because the food is there, consider engaging in other activities like bike-riding, yoga, and swimming. If you are stressed, go for a walk with a friend.
2. Do not prohibit all the foods you love or cherish
Mindful eating is not about doing away with your favorite foods.
Restrictive eating patterns, which eliminate most of your favorite foods, may cause feelings of deprivation. And this can drive you to binge on those “forbidden foods”.
To avoid this, continue eating your favorite foods occasionally. But make sure most of your calories come from low-calorie unprocessed foods.
3. Choose foods that will satisfy your hunger
Go for filling meals that include lean protein – fish, chicken, etc. – fruits, whole grains, and vegetables.
Do your best not to skip meals as this could cause you to overeat later in the day.
4. Minimize stress
Stress can make you overeat because cortisol (the stress hormone) has been shown to increase appetite.
Studies have also shown that when you are stressed, you may binge-eat due to increased hunger. This could result in unnecessary weight gain.
You can reduce stress by engaging in yoga classes, meditation, exercises or listening to music.
5. Slow down when eating
Eating fast may be the only reason you’ve not reached your ideal weight. People tend to overeat when they eat fast.
Taste the food in your mouth and chew it slowly before swallowing. Feel the texture, flavor, and smell of the food before you swallow.
You will end up appreciating the food more, though you may eat less of it.
It takes roughly around twenty minutes for the human brain to register that the stomach is full.
6. Stop eating when you are full
This sounds simple enough, but many people – consciously or unconsciously – overeat.
You and I know that you can’t lose weight if you overeat every day. Your goal should be to eat until your stomach is full. Don’t aim to clean the plate.
7. Connect deeply with your food
Use your senses to connect with your food. Eat to maintain well-being and overall health.
Take note of the effects the food has on your figure and feelings as well. Notice everything about the meal: smells, colors, tastes, textures, etc.
8. Put down your eating utensils between bites
This action will prevent you from taking one morsel after the other without pausing to relish each bite.
The process will also slow the meal down to allow you to focus on the last bite.
9. Avoid multitasking
Do not binge watch or work on your computer while eating. You can have meal amnesia if your attention is diverted from what you are eating.
I may also note that paying attention to your food will make you psychologically satisfied.
10. Serve yourself with a reasonable portion
You should only serve a reasonable portion on your plate whenever you eat. Then keep the serving dish far away, preferably about six feet away from you.
This will make you pause and think before going back for a second round.
11. Use smaller plates and utensils
Use small serving spoons along with smaller plates to avoid piling too much food on your regular plates.
Sizing down from a 13-inch plate to a 9-inch one will help you to consume about 20 percent fewer calories.
It’s about listening to what your stomach tells you, and not about eating with your eyes.
With a small bowl or plate, you will discover that you cannot take as much food as before.
12. Take sips of water as you eat
Drink lots of water, especially between bites and between meals. The slightest bit of dehydration can make you tired, and this may lead you to make poor choices.
Overeating is one of the poor decisions you are bound to make if you don’t drink enough water during meals.
When you drink water in-between your meals, several things happen in your body which you may not be aware of:
- It helps in slowing down your meal
- It will help you feel “fuller” so that you don’t end up overstuffing yourself
- Since the human body often confuses hunger and thirst, it will discourage you from eating so you can drink water
You have to take advantage of this life-changing technique. It helps you to gain total control of how you eat food.
Therefore, if you have tried and failed with diets at one time or the other, then try mindful eating. Be consistent, and you will be glad about the outcome.
You can quickly transform your body if you combine mindful eating these unique exercises.
When done in the right sequence, these 10-15 minute workouts can transform your body in just 28 days.