Mindful Eating For Weight Loss
One thing I know from 20 plus years of counseling people who want to lose weight is that you have to look at each individual and find what works best for them. If you are a mindless eater, meaning you don’t give a lot of thought to what and why you are eating, then mindful eating for weight loss may be your answer.
If you haven’t tried mindful eating for weight loss I highly recommend you consider it. What I like best about it is that it is a way of life, not a diet. I’ve seen some people use these tips to totally transform how they think and react to food. Keep reading to see if this could be you.
5 tips for mindful eating for weight loss
If the thoughts of counting calories, measuring portions and inputting foods into a tracker are keeping you from starting your weight loss journey, then this weight loss plan could be for you. Here’s 5 things you can implement today and you may just start dropping the pounds before you know it.
A mindful eater pays attention to portion sizes and only eats enough to feel satisfied.
Tip 1: Allow yourself to eat anything you like, BUT measure the portions and stop at one.
Many people have an all or nothing mentality when it comes to weight loss. In their mind, they have a list of yes foods and no foods. Too often this sets up overeating because when they give in and eat one cookie, they end up eating the entire sleeve. If you are an all or nothing dieter, this will help you implement moderation. If you really want cookies, that’s OK. But you’ll need to look at the food label and see how much is a serving. WARNING: You’ll be disappointed in many serving sizes. If a serving of cookies is 2 cookies then enjoy the two cookies. Then pause and ask if your stomach is telling you that you need (not want) more. Chances are you’ll be surprised that you can be satisfied with less than you were used to eating. This will likely enable you to lose weight.
A mindful eater easily recognizes hunger and only eats if they are hungry.
Tip 2: Pause every time you think about eating and ask yourself, “Am I physically hungry?” If your stomach tells you so, then eat. But if you are not hungry or your stomach is neutral, refrain from eating in that moment. Realize that our body tells us when it needs fuel. How? The first sign of hunger is usually an empty feeling in the stomach. If you eat when your body has not signaled that it needs fuel, you are at risk to gain weight.
Mindful eaters don’t eat/drink out of habits.
Tip 3: Stop before you eat and ask if you are really hungry or are you eating due to a habit. Examples:
Always getting a coffee when I take my daughters out for coffee.
Always ordering dessert when you eat at a certain restaurant. Maybe you will be full and not need dessert.
Always taking advantage of free food that’s offered to me.
Cleaning my plate no matter how full I feel.
I can’t emphasize this enough:
Eating when your body hasn’t signaled to you that it needs fuel puts you at risk to gain weight.
Mindful eaters don’t eat just because something smells or looks delicious.
Tip 4: Just because you see it or smell it doesn’t mean you have to eat it. Pause and realize that even if it looks/smells tempting you should not eat it if you are not physically hungry. Only eat it if you are physically hungry.
Mindful eaters don’t let a feeling or emotion trigger them to eat.
Tip 5: Pay attention to how often you are triggered to eat because of how you feel. Feelings have a purpose and too often when that feeling is uncomfortable or comes at an inopportune time, we distract ourselves with food. We delay the feeling. These are habits that are engrained from early age so most of the time it is not conscious. Examples:
I’m sad so screw it, it doesn’t matter what I eat or how I look, he won’t like me either way.
I’m sad and eating _____ is the only thing that will make me feel better.
I’m stressed out and eating this will calm me down.
He thinks he can tell me what to eat. I’ll show him.
Eating is the only joy I get in life.
If you think you are often triggered to eat due to your feelings click this link and sign up for my FREE 5 day challenge. Day one we talk about emotional eating and how you got to be so good at it. It’s not your fault. And it’s not because you are lazy, weak or undisciplined. Stop telling yourself that lie and beating yourself up. Stop delaying your happiness.
Moving on…if you want to try mindful eating for weight loss you’ll need a cue to remind you to ask:
Am I hungry?
If not, why am I eating this?
I tell my clients to put a sticky note wherever the food is. This is likely the refrigerator and pantry. It may be your computer, work station or car. A simple “?” can suffice as a cue to remind yourself to be mindful.
In summation, Remember, should there are bad reasons to eat and one good reason.
Good reason: Cause I’m hungry – eat one portion and stop.
Bad Reasons: Habit, Sight or Smell, Feelings
Mindful eating is not easy and it does take some practice. Don’t worry if you find it is not for you, my guess is that it will inch you closer to figuring out what DOES change the game for you.
If you want to see the full YouTube video on Mindful Eating for Wt Loss, click here.
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