We’ve told you before about how eating ‘mindlessly’, including emotional eating, can make it more difficult to lose weight. So it stands to reason that by practicing more mindful eating, it can help you lose weight.
We chose our words carefully in that first paragraph. In our search for ways to lose weight, we tend to gravitate to anything that promises big results, especially sooner than later. Make no mistake, there are studies that show mindful eating can produce weight loss results.
Mindful Eating Isn’t an On/Off Switch
Unlike diets that promise fast results, but rarely deliver enduring weight loss, mindful eating takes practice. You’d be setting the weight loss bar way too high if you think that just by being conscious of everything you eat today, or all of next week, that you’ll definitely see noticeable weight loss.
But the pay off is, when you practice mindful eating, your weight loss results will have a better chance of being sustainable, you’ll probably be way healthier and it will all add up to feeling better about yourself.
Why Mindful Eating is a Journey Rather Than a Destination
Think about it. You’re overweight or obese at least in part because of poor eating habits. Even if you’ve only developed those eating habits as an adult, that means you’ve had them for 10, 20 or more years.
And you expect to be slim and trim for the rest of your life after changing your diet for one, two or three months?
The good news is, regardless of when you start to see weight loss results from mindful eating, you can start seeing health and wellness benefits almost immediately.
You Can Start Being More Mindful About Your Eating Today
There’s more good news about transforming yourself to be more mindful about your eating. You can start right now and you don’t necessarily need to change your diet.
It all starts by identifying those times when you are more likely to eat mindlessly. And there are probably more of them than you think. Here are just a few.
1. Reward Eating
If you automatically think of a tasty treat when you accomplish something, like riding your bike for half an hour or getting a promotion, that’s mindless eating.
Sure, we all like it when people stop by to chat, but how many times do you mindlessly reach for it every day.
3. Cheat Days
It’s like the wild west of eating. All the rules are out the window and you eat anything you like. Without thinking.
4. Emotional Eating
This isn’t just about stuffing yourself with chocolate cake after a fight with your partner. it’s also automatically reaching for the bag of chips when you watch your favorite soap opera, or while you sit down to catch up on everyone’s social media updates.
5. While Socializing
You’re chatting and having a great time. And you don’t even realize you’re picking at all the hors-d’oeuvres.
How to Start Eating More Mindfully
First, mindful eating isn’t simply thinking about what you’re eating when you’re eating it. The mindless eating examples above make that almost impossible. But a more deliberate approach, including many of the following tips, can help you start down the road of more mindful eating, better health, and a lower weight.
1. Keep a Journal (or Journals)
One of the reasons that mindless eating affects your weight and health so much is because it’s, well, mindless. You don’t realize you’re doing it. You just wonder why you can’t lose weight.
But keeping a personal food diary, which you add to every time you eat, will give you a clear idea of what and how much you eat every day.
It’s also important to record why you’re eating. Is it because you’re relaxing and you usually eat then? Or you had a terrible day at work and you’re looking for food to comfort you?
You can also set up a meal planner to help you plan what you eat to avoid eating the wrong foods and/or eating too much.
One more helpful journal you might want to keep is one for your daily activities. This one can be particularly rewarding because of things like the activity trackers or apps you can download. Walk just a few more steps every day and, boom, you’ve made progress.
2. It Takes a Village
Trying to lose weight, or eat more mindfully, are not simple things. You will have a bad day or weeks. There’s no ‘patch’ that will make you crave food less or stop you from eating mindlessly. So trying to do either one on your own can be difficult, even overwhelming.
But If you can find friends, family and/or colleagues to share the journey with, it can be the support you need to keep going.
If you get the help of a nutritional consultant, he or she can not only show you the way, but also help you understand why you’re doing what you’re doing.
In any case, don’t be afraid to get all the help you can to make it easier to get to where you want to be.
3. Put the Weigh Scale Away
This doesn’t mean to totally avoid weighing yourself. But the weight scale can be one of your worst enemies.Regardless of how you try to lose weight, you will have good days and bad days.
When you hop on the scale and the numbers don’t deliver the news you’re looking for, it can be devastating. So much so that you fail to see your real progress. The progress that you make everyday, regardless of what the scale tells you.
Remember, you’re on a journey towards more mindful eating, better health and weight loss. The scale only measures one, and it’s not really the best way to do even that.
By putting away the weigh scale deep in a closet, instead of leaving it temptingly on the bathroom floor, you’ll need to be more mindful in using it, and better prepared for whatever news it brings.
The nutritional consultants at your nearest Herbal One Centre know what you’re going through. They can help you be more mindful of your eating, set up a food diary and help you stick to it, and offer healthy, natural nutrition supplements that that can fill in the nutritional gaps that can happen when you’re transforming your diet and lifestyle. Call or visit today