Have you ever heard the term mindful eating? If not, you may be wondering what in the world mindful eating is. If you have heard of it, you may Still be wondering what in the world the term means.
Today I want to introduce you to the mindful eating, what it means to me, and how you can start implementing it into your weight loss regimen.
Defining Mindful Eating
Simply put, mindful eating is the exact opposite of mindless eating. Instead of eating flippantly, you are fully aware and present when you eat.
I think everyone is guilty at some point of sitting in front of the t.v., computer, phone, etc. when eating. When you do this, you are more likely to pay attention to the distraction at hand and not pay attention to eating your meal. In other words, your food becomes the secondary focus instead of the primary focus.
What Mindful Eating Means to Me
Mindful eating may have a different meaning for every single person, but to
When I take the time to sit down at a table, in the park or even in my car to eat my meal, I have many different techniques I use to connect myself to the food I’m eating. Now I’ll tell you I don’t use every technique for every meal, but I do change the techniques I use depending on the amount of time I have to eat.
Now that I’ve given you a simple definition of mindful eating and what it means to me, let’s get started on how you can use these techniques to support your weight loss.
Implement Mindful Eating for Weight Loss
1. Savor Every Bite
To accomplish this technique, you want to take a bite and use your senses. Pay attention to the feel, taste, and texture of the food you eat. Try to see if you can identify the seasonings used to prepare the dish. This mindful eating technique is one that will take a little more time than some of the others because you have to slowing down your eating experience to accomplish it.
2. Take Smaller Bites
This is a mindful eating technique you should use on a consistent basis. People always act like they’re in a race and will receive an award for being the first one to finish their meal. I’m here to tell you, there is no medal or reward, except the possibility of heartburn and indigestion.
So, slow down by taking smaller bites. Think about small “princess bites” not big “ogre bites”. The food you put in your mouth should not
3. Chew Your Food
Have you ever heard “Chew every bite 100 times.”? While this may be overdoing it, there is something to chewing your food more than a few times before swallowing.
The reason you want to chew your food more thoroughly is to help your digestion. You want to make the process as easy on your gut as possible, and when you chew your food more thoroughly you’re winning. There’s a study saying chewing about 32 times per bite (more for tougher foods, less for softer foods) is a good number to aim for. Another gauge you can use is to pay attention to when your food loses its texture. If it becomes mushy, you’re ok to swallow.
An added bonus for chewing your food more thoroughly is it can help with weight loss. Did you know, if you slow down and chew your food, you will feel fuller quicker? This can eventually lead to feeling satisfied
4. Be Present
It’s so easy to be distracted in today’s world, but when you incorporate mindful eating, you will be fully present when you eat. This means eliminating all distractions. Distractions can include your computer, t.v., phone, driving, your child’s ball game, etc.
If you are present when you eat, you pay attention to your surroundings. This could be as simple as eating with friends or family. It could mean listening to the birds and watching the wind blow through the trees. Maybe this means stealing away from a ballgame and sitting in a hallway or your car (instead of shoving a hotdog in your mouth while yelling from the bleachers without any thought to what you’re eating).
Being present and paying attention to what you’re eating and paying attention to your surroundings will help you make better choices as well as slow you down and not eating just to eat.
5. Stop Eating When You’re Satisfied.
This mindful eating tip is so hard for so many of my clients, and people in general. I think a lot of people grew up in the era of “clean your plate”. I find this is NOT mentality beneficial for health or for weight loss.
So, I give you permission to stop eating when you’re satisfied. You do NOT have to clean your plate! Let me say that again. You do NOT have to clean your plate!! If you stop eating when you’re satisfied, you will definitely help your weight loss.
You may be wondering what you need to do if you finish your meal and you aren’t satisfied. If this happens, I encourage you to wait 10 -15 minutes before going back for seconds. This gives your brain time to receive the signals to tell your body you are satisfied.
So many people don’t even pay attention to what they eat, let alone how they eat. You may finish your meal without realizing it because you eat while distracted. Mindful eating techniques are great tools that can help you reach your weight loss goals.
Whether you get rid of all distractions when you eat, you chew your food
If you need more help with your weight loss goals, schedule a Free Weight Loss Strategy Session HERE so we can chat about what’s best for you.