Mindful Eating – A Guide To Healthy Weight Management

News

Nov 17
Illustration of woman meditating on mindful eating

Struggling to fit into your dream dress or cannot find the right size for the prom outfit you have been eyeing? It is frustrating when your body weight keeps you from feeling beautiful and confident.

Excessive body weight gives rise to low self-esteem and body image disorders, and may cause individuals to feel unwanted and demotivated. Popular weight management methods such as heavy gyming and specific diets provide temporary results but may cause adverse mental and physical health effects in the long run.

Fortunately, obesity and body weight can be conveniently managed with mindful eating. You no longer have to starve or give up on your favorite foods to achieve the ideal body weight. Let us discuss mindful eating and how you can manage your body weight with it.

What Is Mindful Eating?

Mindful eating refers to focusing on your regular eating routine to ensure that you administer the right amount, type, and quality of nutrients in your body. The idea of eating mindfully is to gain healthy body weight. It is the process of paying attention to anything you eat at any time to assess your body’s internal and external response to it.

Many of us have made mealtimes a rushed affair due to our busy schedules. We often eat our meals on the go, while commuting to work, in front of computer screens, watching TV, and at inappropriate times. Additionally, we often mindlessly consume food to satiate emotions other than hunger, unknowingly harming our health. This is where mindful eating helps as it induces mindful meditation, which is necessary to maintain standard health.

Many people often consider eating mindfully as a diet, but that is not the case; in reality, it is the total opposite. It is not about exclusively eating perfectly balanced and healthy food or starving for extended intervals. Instead, it is about regulating your meals to improve your relationship with food, thereby achieving better overall health.

Mindful eating benefits our bodies in several ways, such as:

  1. It prevents binge eating, which can lead to unhealthy food consumption.
  2. It helps you feel better by administering nutritious, healthy, and scheduled meals.
  3. It ensures healthy organs, blood pressure, and sugar levels.
  4. Ensures efficient working of the body’s digestive, urinary and respiratory systems.
  5. It helps in excessive weight reduction.
  6. It makes you enjoy your mealtimes.
  7. Promotes psychological well-being and a fulfilling feeling.
  8. Maintains your overall lifestyle.

Does Mindful Eating Help In Weight Management?

A major concern of mindful eaters is whether they will be able to conduct weight management. The answer is yes!

A significant benefit of eating mindfully is losing weight and preventing your body from storing unnecessary fat. This technique helps you maintain adequate weight in several ways, such as;

  1. Your eating process slows down, which promotes better digestion. This prevents your body from absorbing unhealthy fats and carbohydrates, which can result in excessive weight gain.
  2. Taking more time to eat without stress makes you feel full with smaller portions.
  3. You make wiser food options as you focus intensely on your eating process.
  4. You reduce binge eating as you only consume scheduled meals.
  5. You only eat when you are hungry rather than mindlessly gobbling down food to satisfy other psychological emotions like loneliness, anxiety, and depression.
  6. Reduced junk and comfort eating, which are the main culprits of unhealthy weight gain.

How to Eat Mindfully For A Healthy Weight

Want to incorporate mindful eating into your lifestyle but don’t know where to start? Here are a few techniques to begin mindful eating to achieve a healthy body weight and lifestyle.

    1. Start with Your Shopping List

Focus on your eating experience to ensure complete mindfulness. Start with your shopping list by checking the nutritional value of every product that you add to your cart. Make sure to avoid heavily processed food and only buy goods from the produce section. Moreover, avoid impulse buying edibles, or you might end up with more unhealthy snacks than healthy food, which is the main reason behind harmful fat deposits.

    2.  Cultivate A Mindful Kitchen

The next essential step is to set up a mindful kitchen. In plain words, this refers to dedicating a specific and consistent place for cooking and eating to savor the eating experience fully. Some ways of creating a mindful kitchen are:

  1. Choose a soothing color theme and design for your kitchen to dazzle up the space. This will spark immense joy and relaxation in your mind as soon as you set foot in your kitchen.
  2. Create customized spaces in your kitchen to make it more wholesome and comfortable for yourself or anyone who visits it.
  3. Install cabinets and counters to ensure your kitchen is organized and functional.
  4. Set a dining table to have a comfortable eating experience. This will also create space for your loved ones to spend time together, enhancing the eating experience.
  5. Ensure cleanliness and tidiness of your kitchen space.

    3.  Schedule Your Meals

A significant aspect of healthy eating is scheduling your meals. We often consume snacks between meals, which disrupts our regular appetite, making us hungry at odd times. Moreover, eating past midnight results in indigestion and excessive weight gain.

Hence, it is crucial to only eat at your scheduled times. The standard meal times to lose weight through mindful eating are:

  • Breakfast: Eaten in the morning.
  • Lunch: Usually eaten at mid-day between 11 AM – 3 PM.
  • Dinner: Eaten a few hours before going to bed in the evening/night.

   4.   Come to The Dining Table Only When You Are Hungry

A significant cause of gaining abnormal weight is eating when we are not hungry. This happens when we want to satisfy other psychological emotions like loneliness, boredom, depression, anxiety, or sadness. It is important to cope with these emotions appropriately instead of intuitive eating, which causes unhealthy effects in the long run.

   5.    Take Small Portions

The best way to lose unhealthy weight is by consuming small portions, as several studies show that consuming smaller bites causes people to eat less. One way of doing so is by limiting the size of your plate to nine inches or less. The less space in your plate will accommodate fewer quantities of food, making you feel full quickly.

   6.    Focus On How You Chew

Chewing your food thoroughly and slowly is important to satiate your hunger while eating less. This will break down the food into smaller pieces that are easier to digest and pass down your intestines rather than being stored as hard and indigested food in your muscles.

Moreover, chewing your food slowly and thoroughly will make you enjoy your mealtime.

   7.     Connect With Every Meal

It is necessary to remember that food is a blessing not available to everyone. From the farmer to the one who prepared and bought it on your table, every meal is a result of the hard work and patience of many people.

Therefore, it is important to connect with every meal and consume your food with all your senses. Appreciate and be grateful to those who have invested their lives in creating your meals. This mindfulness will aid you in making wiser choices in picking sustainable food. It will phenomenally improve your relationship with food, helping you achieve physical well-being and satisfaction.

8.     Attend to Your Plate

There are several occasions where we fail to attend to our food thoroughly. For instance, you finish your whole bag of popcorn even before the movie begins. This is because we often ignore our body signals while distracted and eat more than our appetite. As a result, not only do we add to our weight, but we also promote poor digestion and disrupted body functions.

Therefore, it is best to avoid multi-tasking during mealtimes and consume your meals with mindful meditation. This way, you can listen to your body signals and prevent overeating.

Mindful Eating In A Nutshell

People with obesity and body image disorders often struggle to gain ideal weight despite trying every popular weight reduction method. The reason is that a majority of these methods usually offer temporary effects, which may reverse once you get back to your everyday lifestyle. Thus, it is better to aim for healthy weight maintenance than gaining an ‘ideal’ size through healthy methods like mindful eating. Mindful eating offers slow but effective results in reducing unhealthy fats and toxins from the body. It promotes a good eating experience, a healthy diet, and an active lifestyle. Besides its tremendous results on physical well-being, mindful eating promotes mental well-being by preventing issues like low willpower, self-esteem, and body image disorders.