You might have heard of mindful eating as the new diet craze. But it is more than a fad, it is a total mindset change. Learning how to practice mindful eating should help you to shed excess pounds and become healthier all over. But it is not all about losing weight: you can learn to feel better about yourself at the same time.
Who is Mindful Eating For?
If you've ever felt guilty or had negative thoughts about eating then mindful eating could be ideal for you. It is a less stressful way to gain control over your eating habits than by following diets like Paleo or Atkins which tend to be more strict and can be hard to follow at times.
How to Practice Mindful Eating?
You are going to want to look closely at your relationship with food to find out why you make those “bad” food choices and if you eat only when hungry or use food as a crutch for emotional issues.
Let’s look at what mindful eating is all about and some of the practices in it.
Eating Slowly and Mindfully
Let's face it: life passes by us so fast sometimes that what you eat isn't given a second thought. This is especially a problem for us women because we sometimes have to juggle a career and a family. This can lead to hastily grabbing what comes to hand to eat, like a snack or a chocolate bar. We can end up using food as a reward for a stressful day which isn't ideal.
When you eat mindfully you are forced to take a moment to consider why you are eating what you are eating. Are you actually hungry or are you bored or tired?
Convenient foods allow us to mindlessly grab a meal from the fridge and heat it up, fall down exhausted on the couch and eat. The worst part is you are still hungry afterwards!
It's as if you are going through the motions and are using food as comfort to make you feel better. Of course the problem is that lot's of us are trying to lose weight and get in shape but our mindless eating is thwarting our progress.
If you follow the basic principles of mindful eating such as eating slowly and thinking before you eat you will:
- Feel less guilty when you eat unhealthy foods
- Feel less likely to eat when you aren't really hungry
- Learn to stop the spiral of weight gain in it's tracks
- Be healthier in general
- Have a better relationship with food
- Not constantly think about food.
Recognizing Hunger Cues
You should take time before eating to recognize if you are actually hungry or are turning to food for emotional reasons. Just asking yourself if you're really hungry is enough to make a change. This will break the pattern of mindless eating.
When you are really hungry you will know because your body tells you through a growling stomach for example. You will know the difference between emotional hunger and real hunger that needs to be remedied with food.
If you eat out of boredom or distraction that's something else that needs to be managed. For example if you are full but you are still eating, that's a sign that you are trying to manage your emotions through food.
Following mindfulness when eating requires you to ask difficult questions of yourself. Such as:
- Do you feel pleasure?
- Are you enjoying the food you’re eating or are you gorging yourself without knowing why?
The answers to these questions will give you a better understanding about why you eat and the food choices you make. It’s these revelations that make mindful eating so powerful. It turns the act of eating from an automatic response to one where you’re thinking while you eat.
Healthy Relationship with Food
The goal of mindful eating is for you to form a healthier relationship with food. We all know that food is made to keep us healthy, nourished and satisfied. You can have the odd treat to have a quick boost of happy hormones although some people who follow mindful eating don't believe in treats.
I follow the rule “everything in moderation”.
Feeling guilty after eating is a sign that your relationship with food needs fixing. Lot's of women suffer from this issue because they eat mindlessly.
Another sign is thinking about food all of the time. Think about cake all day and chances are (if you're not eating mindfully) you'll go home and eat 1,2,3 slices of cake and still feel hungry afterwards because you ate so fast. Then the guilt sets in.
If you practice mindful eating you'll ask yourself some questions before eating:
- Why am I craving cake?
- Will I feel better after eating the cake?
- What will eating the cake achieve?
A more balanced view to take would be: OK I'm craving cake so maybe I'll have one slice and then call it a day. This means you are taking control over what you are eating. You'll probably feel proud of yourself for exercising control instead of mindlessly eating.
Mindful Eating Tools
You might not think of diet pills as being tools you can use to help mindful eating. Things have come a long way from the days where the only supplements available were loaded with stimulants and caffeine and just made you feel jittery.
These days we have products like Proactol XS which helps to boost your weight loss efforts by stopping some of the fat you eat from being absorbed by your body, so it passes out of your body naturally without side effects. It has no stimulants and is caffeine free, so no jitters.
Proactol XS can boost your weight loss from mindful eating but can also help you take control of your eating by making you feel less hungry.
Hi, I'm Aileen, the owner of Diet Pill Judge. I have personally tried loads of diet pills over the years and found that only a few of them really work.
My background is in science, so I set out to find supplements that have scientific evidence behind them and which I can confidently recommend.