Mindfulness and Weight Loss

Photo credit: Nina Hale/Flickr.com

When you consider how most people think about and consume food today, it is easy to understand how mindfulness can help people to control their eating.  

Avoid Mindless Eating Mindfulness and Weight L
In Today's society most people indulge in mindless eating. Whether you realize it or not our eating habits are influenced by a number of external and internal messages we are completely unaware of. Some of the external factors that can contribute to mindless eating includes:
  • Room temperature and lighting
  • Size and shape of dishes
  • How much the people around us consume
  • Other activities we participate in when eating
  • Time constraints
Internal factors that contribute to mindless eating include:
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Frustration
  • Depression
  • Happiness

Making the Change From Mindless Eating to Mindful Eating Mindfulness and Weight Loss
In order to change our habit of mindless eating to one of mindful eating, you do need to make a few changes. These changes can be made gradually one small change at a time. 

Begin by ridding yourself of all distractions while eating so that you can focus entirely on the food.

Before each bit take the time to look at the food, observing the way it looks, smells, tastes, and even feels in your mouth. 

You don't have to make any judgments about whether the food is good or bad, simply experience the food.

If you find yourself craving a specific food, don't deny that craving. Instead follow the mindful eating approach to the food you crave. 

Look at the food, observing what it looks like, smell it, and then take a bite savoring the taste and feel of it in your mouth. 

Then ask yourself, if the actual taste of the food, met with your expectation. If so, then ask yourself if one or two bites were enough to satisfy your craving.

People who take this approach, often discover that the food they have been craving, does not taste as good as they expected, or even if it does, just tasting it is enough to satisfy the craving. This often results in less binge eating.

  • Taking A Non Judgmental Look at your Eating Habits Mindfulness and Weight Loss
Once you have become adept at mindful eating, take a non judgmental look at your eating habits.

Keep a journal of where and when you shop for food, the food you purchase, and anything that influences you to purchase foods you had not planned to purchase, such as where or how certain foods were displayed.

Also record your beliefs about food and eating that may effect what and how you eat. Such as being told not to waste food, and cleaning your plate to be polite.

Also record when you feel hungry, when you feel sated, and how you feel if you eat too much.

  • Taking a Non Judgmental Look At Environmental Triggers
You are also going to want to take a look at environmental triggers that coax you to eat even if your not hungry. 

Consider, for example, commercials that connect eating or drinking to happiness or socialization, or consider how food looks when it is on display. 

The more aware you become of the things that trigger eating both internal and external the easier it is to avoid those triggers.

  • Mindfulness Based Weight Loss Programs
Mindfulness based weight loss programs are a combination of mindfulness meditation and group activities where participants discuss food triggers, weight loss, body image and dealing with environmental pressures. 

It also includes mindful eating activities to help participants become more aware of the experience of preparing and consuming food, and making choices based on healthy eating according their body's signals. 

Although still new, mindful based weight loss programs are showing moderate weight loss, higher self esteem, and a more realistic body image for those who participate.
 

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