Now more than ever, you may be feeling a little uncomfortable in your own skin. We’re all feeling a little stodgy and bloated after so many weeks into our national lockdown. It may seem daunting to try to lose weight now, but we’ve stumbled upon a trick that’ll make things so much easier. The problem? Unruly weight gain. The simple solution? Mindful eating.
Why mindful eating?
Do you wolf down lunch at your desk and have dinner in front of the TV? Eating while you’re distracted means you won’t register your feelings of fullness. The result? You’re likely to over-eat and gain weight. When you’re distracted, you are also more likely to eat more than what your body needs. You will also be prone to snacking and emotional eating.
View this post on Instagram
This is something I have to practice everyday. It's so messed up how I would mindlessly snack and graze before surgery. I can't do that now but I still have to be careful and conscious of what I eat and when. I still find myself craving something and not even being hungry but instead being bored or anxious. Being mindful keeps me on track. ✨✨✨✨ #mentalhealthmatters #wlsfam #cravings #mentalhealthisimportant #emotionalhunger #mentalhealthsupport #mindfulness #wlslife #mindfuleating #vsgjourney #checkup #vsgcrew #wlsjourney #tuneinnow #wlsinstacrew #wlssupport #selfcare #wlscrew #vsglife #foodcravings #mentalhealth #mentalhealthwarrior #mindful #emotionaleating #emotionalhungervsphysicalhunger #vsgfam #emotionaleatingsupport #emotionalhelp #tunein
Leading weight loss counsellors Sally Baker and Liz Hogan have found that many of their clients share this pattern. So their five-step guide stops you eating on autopilot and encourages you to chew more slowly, savouring each mouthful.
They say, “Changing your eating habits could help you lose weight without dieting.” Well, no matter how you cut the cake, that sounds like a win to us.
Five steps to mindful eating
- Before you sit down to eat, get rid of distracting electronic devices. So switch off the TV and silence your phone (and just for safety, put it in another room). You can, however, keep the radio on as this shouldn’t impair your focus too drastically.
- Put the portion you intend to eat on a plate, rather than having platters of food to help yourself to. And make sure you sit at a table. It’s about really experiencing your food, not simply gobbling it down.
- Mindless eaters can often eat a plate of food and not taste a bite. So focus on the smell, textures, and taste of your food. Be present during each bite from start to finish.
- Follow the ‘mouth full, hands empty’ mantra. This means putting your cutlery down between mouthfuls to slow your eating. Ask yourself how hungry you are before each forkful and aim to eat until you are satisfied.
- Set regular mealtimes. People who mindlessly graze throughout the day will never be sure when they’re hungry or full. Eating regular meals will help reset your body to recognise the appropriate signals of satiety and hunger.
Take the mindful eating challenge
By now we all know that habits take 21 days to form. Why not dedicate 21 days to mindful eating and see how you feel? Try the five steps mentioned above for at least one meal a day for three weeks.
View this post on Instagram
Just because you know something doesn’t mean you’ll do it right every single time. ⠀ ⠀ There is no perfect way to eat, there is no perfect way to live, there is no perfect way to look. ⠀ ⠀ Behaviour change takes time and consistency! If you’re working towards a new or old health goal, remind yourself that it takes time. You’re probably a lot further along than you were last year. Be kind to yourself. Keep going and you’ll get there eventually. ⠀ ⠀ I’m finally starting to embrace my imperfect life and all my ups and downs. ⠀ ⠀ Will you join me? ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ #nofoodrules #healthynothungry⠀⠀ #daughterofanimmgrant⠀⠀ #healthybodyhealthymind⠀⠀ #caloriecounting⠀⠀ #quarantine15 #bingeeating #stresseating #dietingsucks #ditchthediet #intuitiveeating⠀⠀ #losehatenotweight #selflovewarrior #mycreativebiz #trustyourbody #phenomenalwoman #bodyacceptance #fatliberation #bodypositivity #bodyneutrality #blackdietitian #blackvegan #eatplants #vegansofcolor #mindfuleating #dietitianapproved #normalizenormalbodies
Eating mindfully will help you feel more in control and allow you to enjoy your mealtimes more. It will also help you stop emotional eating and encourage you to eat only when you’re hungry.