24 May, 2023

Tips For Mindful Eating

Nowadays, in a world of so many distractions, it is hard to focus on something. Yet, focusing, being mindful, and living in the present moment is essential for making the right, conscious decisions about your health and well-being.

Distracted Food Intake Leads To Weight Gain

Recall the last time you had a meal. What were you doing or thinking during the meal? Most of us eat while watching TV, YouTube, or scrolling through social media pages. This kind of distracted eating often leads to overeating.

Consuming too many calories that are not used up during the day is one of the direct causes of fat accumulation and thus, overweight and obesity. We eat more than we need because we are not fully conscious of our own behavior, actions, and decisions. For example, when you are binge-watching your favorite movies, you are also devouring fatty and high-sugar snacks. But at that time when you are eating, you are not thinking about the food, whether it is useful, or nutritious for your body. Your mind is busy with what happens next in the film. This kind of mindless eating has a compound effect and one day you find yourself struggling with too much weight. Therefore, regulating your diet by being aware of your eating habits and experiences is an essential first step in weight control.

What Is Mindful Eating?

Mindful eating is about paying undivided attention to the food you are consuming and doing it non-judgementally. It is a process-oriented approach rather than a goal-oriented one such as diet which aims to have a certain weight loss as an outcome.

Mindful eating is about:

  • focusing on the food you are eating with no distractions
  • being aware of your body’s response to the food (feel that you are hungry physically, not emotionally)
  • consciously choosing the meal in front of you because it is good for your body

Benefits Of Mindful Eating

Eating mindfully helps modify your eating behavior which affects your weight management. One of the most important steps in a long-term weight loss journey is changing your eating behavior which means that you change how you approach your food, how often, and what kind of food you eat. It is not just about eating less, it is about developing a healthy relationship with food.

Although there have been no studies that clearly demonstrate that eating mindfully will lead to significant weight loss, being aware of your food habit and eating experience will be only useful. Mindful eating can help improve your eating habits which will ultimately benefit your health and aid your weight loss or weight management.

How To Start Eating Mindfully in 10 Steps

One of the easiest ways to practice mindful eating is the raisin eating practice by Kabat-Zinn.

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Take a raisin (just one) and put it in front of you.
  2. Try to forget everything. Imagine you are new to this planet and know nothing about the raisin in front of you. Put aside all judgments, fears, and expectations.
  3. Closely examine the raisin and hold it with your fingers. How much do you think it weighs?
  4. Look at its surface as if you are seeing this object for the first time. Remember you are new on Earth.
  5. Smell it and pay attention to how you react to it. Let your fingers play with the raisin and notice what sounds it makes, and how sticky it is.
  6. Observe your feelings about this dried grape. Then put it between your lips and leave it there for a while. Notice what happens in your body.
  7. Roll it in your mouth, but do not chew it yet. What is the taste? Is your mouth getting filled with saliva?
  8. Slowly bite down and stop to observe what it feels like. Then start chewing with the focus on your senses with each bite.
  9. Do not rush to swallow it. Chew the raisin as much as you can before swallowing.
  10. As you swallow, close your eyes for several seconds to notice the consequences of this experience.

This practice that focuses on sensual experiences of the food helps you understand what mindful eating is like. Important to emphasize that this exercise does not dictate what you should feel about food, it only encourages you to slow down, be in the moment, and notice your feelings and senses when you are consuming food.

Bonus Tips To Master Mindfulness in Eating

Here are some more tips you can use to establish a mindful eating process:

  • Eat slowly and chew as much and as long as you can.
  • Take small bites and opt for a small portion of food.
  • Do not skip meals, because when you do so, you can get very hungry which makes you unconsciously and quickly eat anything in large portions just to fill your stomach and get rid of the painful sensation. All of this is the opposite of mindful eating.

Tip on how to master mindfulness in eating

Reveal Weight Loss Offers Mindful Eating Coaching

Doctors at Reveal Weight Loss always strive to come up with new ways to improve the results of their patients. Our team successfully uses a mindful eating program for weight loss. We take a holistic approach and combine these techniques with other weight loss tools and procedures such as a gastric balloon and non-surgical sleeve gastroplasty. Our patients never get bored with us, because we creatively tailor programs specifically for them using a variety of methods.

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