The world we live in today is extremely fast-paced and complex, there are too many things happening at once which makes life more hectic and stressful. Living in a hectic and stressful environment makes it harder for us to stick to a diet plan and actually lose weight as there are too many distractions putting us off course. Mindfulness helps you keep up with your weight-loss journey by strengthening the weakest link of your weight-loss journey, which is to stick to your diet not just during the journey, but also after to avoid gaining back those pounds. Successful dieting is less about maths such as counting calorie intake and more about your mind. Behavorial tricks such as mindful eating will definitely aid your long-term success.
At least three recent studies have proved that being mindful when you eat can improve your weight-loss efforts and also helps people combat obesity. Being mindful when you eat will also help you maintain continued weight-loss, instead of regaining weight once you have lost all that weight. All studies concluded that mindful eating has been shown to help people gain more awareness of their bodies, to be more in tune with their satiety, recognize external cues to eat, gain self-compassion, decrease food cravings, decrease problematic eating and also decrease reward-driven eating. Yes, all of those changes observed are a result of being more mindful when you eat.
One way to become a more mindful eater is to simply eat slowly so that you can recognize your hunger and fullness cues. This might be harder than it sounds because most of us are used to our hectic lifestyle and there are too many people who take less than 5 minutes to finish their meal. This is bad for your diet because when you eat too fast, your body doesn not get enough time to recognize hunger cues and you will most likely still be hungry after you eat, making you eat even more.
Each meal you eat should last for at least 20 minutes so make sure you chew your food well and put your fork down after every bite in order to help you slow down. You should also savor your food, try to notice different textures and flavour profiles of each bite to enjoy your meals a little bit more and make it easier for you to slow down.
Research on obese poeple eating at different speeds has concluded and shown that as people eat slower, their rate of obesity drops by 42%, which is insane when you think about it. Simply slowing down when you have your meals has the potential to reduce your weight significantly, this is because slow eaters tend to notice feelings of satiety before an excessive amount of food is ingested, whereas fast eaters consume calories much more quickly than the body starts to register stomach fullness so that means that your speed of eating will regulate your body fat. We know how enjoyable it is to have some pizza while watching Netflix, however you should stop doing this.In order to become an exclusive eater, you should not watch TV, work or read when you eat. If you do so, you won’t be able to pay attention to both your food and your body. You will easily become distracted and eat much more than you need to.
Another way to become more mindful is to pay more attention to what you actually eat. Try to take photos of every meal in order for a few days so that you can go back and actually get a better overall picture of your eating habits and notice patterns of eating. You should also try to rate your hunger everytime you are about to eat from 1 to 10 as well as your feelings at that point in time such as anger, boredom or stress. After that, you yould try to notice sensations in your body while you eat and see if you are able to stop eating once you start to feel full, or if you still continue to eat. Next, you should notice your feelings after you eat. If you were eating because you were actually hungry you would feel satisfied, if you ate for other reasons such as boredom, you will feel bloated and guilty. When you encounter negative outcomes such as feeling guilty and bloated after eating then your brain will recognize that there are less rewards when you overeat, so as time passes on it will try to avoid that unpleasurable scenario, making sure you only eat when you actually need to. This process can take as long as 6 months if not more, but repetition will train your mind and provide lasting effects for the long-term.
When we start to become mindful of what we eat, we will notice patterns and sensations which can then be used to adjust your brain’s bheaviour and reaction. This will produce lasting results for the long term and make sure that you will not regain the weight you lost in the future. If you need professional help or someone to give you tips and advice to become more mindful and take your weight loss journey to the next level then please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Narindr at one of the links below.