One of the keys to successful weight loss is changing the way you eat as well as what and how much. Typically, we do not allow ourselves the time and attention needed to get full physical, mental and emotional satisfaction from our food.
We all lead increasingly busy lives and eating is frequently something we do WHILE doing something else – working, chatting, on social media, watching TV etc. There are a couple of problems with this:
- We don’t notice what we are eating or how much
- We don’t wait for the signals from our body that tell us we are full
Consequently, we can be tempted to reach for a snack fairly soon after eating because we are somehow ‘not satisfied’ – and we probably eat the snack while busy with some other activity!
Mindful eating is the answer but it does require some discipline. Move away from the desk or TV, switch off the smart phone or the tablet…even limit conversation and just focus on the food you are eating and the way you are eating it. Take time to really enjoy food, give your body time to tell you when you have eaten enough – typically your brain and your stomach take 20 minutes to register that you’re full.
Here are some tips to help you start eating mindfully:
- Make an occasion of each meal – sit at a table, use nice china, cutlery etc.
- Use all your senses to appreciate your food – look at it and smell it before even tasting it
- Eat slowly – put down your fork, spoon or sandwich between each mouthful
- Really taste the food – move it around your mouth so that it hits all your taste buds
- Be aware of swallowing and feel the food moving down into your stomach
- Get back in touch with your body – relearn its signals for hunger, thirst and emotional needs. Keep a diary of when, what and why you eat
- Drink more water!!! This is so important for the efficient functioning of our bodies
- Allow time to get that ‘full up’ feeling
- Don’t do anything else except be fully aware of your food and your body
- Learn more about what is good for your body and aim to eat as healthily as you can.
Like all new habits, moving to mindful eating will take a while but the benefits are worth it. Learning to savour your food and giving your body what it needs, in the amount it needs means:
- You feel better with more energy
- Your brain is sharper and more focused
- You’ll lose weight without ‘dieting’
- You protect yourself from illnesses like Type 2 diabetes
- You really enjoy food
Want to know more? Get in touch with me at www.judithhanson.co.uk for help with the ‘head stuff’ or Louise Mercieca at http://www.thehealthkick.co.uk/ for help with what your body needs and other nutrition advice