Mindful Thinking for Mindful EatingPosted: Oct 22 in Nutrition by Dr. Lazarus
Is it mind over matter when it comes to weight management? “Mindful eating” is a buzz phrase in nutrition circles that means putting your mind in charge of your dietary habits and enjoying your food. That is where a medical weight loss program is a bonus. The key to successful weight loss is not counting calories or following fad diets; it is creating a lifestyle that is sustainable. Mindful eating is part of that process.
What Is Mindful Eating?
Let’s say you love eating a sticky bun every morning for breakfast. You like it so much that one hardly seems like enough, so you start buying two each morning. One day, out of curiosity, you check to see how many calories are in that bun, and everything changes. It is not hard to figure out when you are overeating, but it is difficult to know why.
What did you like about the sticky bun? Was it the taste? Did you like the texture? Mindful eating is about enjoying your food instead of gulping it down. One sticky bun wasn’t enough because, one day, you ate it too fast to enjoy it. Your mind decided you needed one more to be satisfied.
Tips for Mindful Eating
Mindful eating involves turning all your attention to your meal. When you take a bite, think about how that food tastes. How it smells or feels on your tongue.
To incorporate mindful eating into your diet plan:
- Turn off all distractions when you eat – no TV, no books and no eating at your desk.
- Allow yourself the occasional treat – fighting the craving just causes anxiety. When you do treat yourself, eat slowly and savor the food.
- Avoid impulse eating – break habits like always eating a snack when on the computer.
- Time your meals – If it takes you five minutes to finish a sandwich, force yourself to make it last 10 minutes.
If you are obese, consider getting some professional help. A medical weight loss program creates a structured environment with obtainable goals, so you learn the right and wrong ways to eat and become mindful of your food.