Mindful Eating For Weight Loss – Can You Really Skip The Gym?

By Kenny Lee | Life

Sep 11

I’ve been dragging food related pictures into a couple of my posts recently (like this and this) By now, you must have suspected I have a sweet spot for foods especially sinfully mouth-watering cuisine. Well, you can’t really blame me. Growing up in a country famous for its multicultural cuisine, it’s hard not to be a fussy eater.

There I go again, ranting about food in when I’m supposed to be mindful of what I’m writing.

RECOMMENDED : How To Clear Your Mind With Simple Steps

Well, before I dragged out the facts on how mindful eating could lead to weight loss, I want you to think of the dinner you had yesterday.Mindful Eating For Weight Loss

Do you remember what you ate?
Is it good for your health?
How does it taste?
What does it look and feel like?
Do you enjoy it? (Is it tasteless? Or you don’t even have a clue?)

Or you spent your dinner chowing away while texting on your phone, checking your social media updates or absorbed in thoughts of the emails you have to follow up after your meal?

If you have no recollection of how your food tastes like, then forget about any potential weight loss from mindful eating. Because you are definitely not mindful when you are eating.

If You Have Not Been Eating Mindfully, Here’s Why You Should Start..

According to this article by Harvard Health Publication, a growing body of research found that mindful eating could lead to possible weight loss. 

In another study by Jennifer Daubenmier, where an experiment is conducted on a group of 47 obese women, it is found that mindful eating prevents overeating and eventually weight gain.

I could go on listing scientific proofs, but I’m an honest person. I actually found the one by Jennifer Daubenmier on this page which listed a dozen on them. Feel free to check it out if you need further convincing facts.

Or you can find out yourself by starting to eat mindfully right now.

But before you go grabbing your food, let me explain how mindful eating help your fight against your growing waistline (and me against mine) in layman term.

Here’s What Happen When You Are Eating Mindfully,

Mindful Eating For Weight Loss

 

1. You take one bite at a time

You do not rush and chew your food like a mowing machine. Instead, you take each bite, savouring its taste and texture. Foods taste nicer when you eat this way.

2. You know when to stop.

By being mindful of your body, and sensation. You know when to stop without burdening your stomach with the excessive intake. (even if it’s delicious seafood fresh from the ocean) It’s time to give your digestive system a break.

3. You know what you are eating

You become more aware of your health. You are able to resist putting that so tempting junk food down your mouth. (say bye-bye to late night snacking) And your body is thanking you for that.

4. You are happier when you are eating.

When you are aware of your emotion when you are eating. You do not succumb to negative thoughts. Food tastes better when you are happier. And if you asked, here’s an article on how happiness leads to weight loss.

5. You are more grateful

When you are mindful, you don’t eat purely for pleasure. You are aware that food is the basic needs for your survivor. You feel thankful for those growing and producing the meal for your consumption.

I’m not going to check if gratitude leads to weight loss. I just feel it’s a good thing to have. Do you agree?

7 Steps to Mindful Eating For Weight Loss

Mindful Eating For Weight Loss

Sometimes it’s not what you eat but how you eat that matters. If you have read my previous post on How To Clear Your Mind With Simple Steps, you would have known being mindful is about awareness of your thoughts and sensations.

Same goes to eating, the moment you are doing twenty other things when you are eating, you are actually not eating. Sounds like coming from the mouth of an old sage, but that’s the truth.

Anyway, here’s the simple steps to mindful eating.

1. Relax, and contemplate the nature of your food. Realise that you eat to sustain your life. And you are thankful for that.

2. Bring your attention to your food. Note at its shape, texture and colour. Mentally note it as “seeing”.

3. Lift a spoonful to your mouth. Mentally note it as “lifting”. Feel the movement of your arm and wrist.

5. As you take a mouthful, chew slowly. Note the taste and texture of your food. Repeat “chewing” in your mind.

6. As you swallow, observe the sensation of swallowing. Do not hurry for your next serving.

7. Note the sensation and feeling of your stomach. Are you full? Should you continue?

Note : If your mind wanders to thoughts other than the meal you are having now, gently return back to your mindful eating.

And Here Comes The Success Stories

Mindful Eating For Weight Loss

Chris Bailey loses 40 pounds by bringing mindfulness into his eating habits. Check out his story here.

Lilian lost 60 pounds in 6 months by stopping junk foods and other unhealthy lifestyles. And she has the weight loss thanks to mindfulness and meditation.  Here’s her story.

RECOMMENDED : How To Clear Your Mind With Simple Steps

Digging out these stories is making me hungry. Here’s another one (and the last).

Caroline, 29, lost a whopping126 pounds in 12 months, with a combination of mindful eating and a disciplined workout routine. (oops.. looks like no skipping of the gym) Check out the pictures here.

Anyway, I hope these stories are good enough to kick start your mindful eating habits. If you need further inspiration , check out Mindful Eating, Mindful Life by Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr. Lilian Cheung.

So what’s your thought on this? Is it good enough to change your diet habit? Are you convinced that mindfulness practice is good in weight loss or any other part of your life? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and subscribe if you want more resources of mindfulness practice.

About the Author

I struggled with social anxiety for at least 15 years, without really knowing what I was going through. Eventually, I defeated my social phobia and conquered the fear of public speaking.

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(30) comments

Lawrence September 11, 2016

Another extremely helpful post which we can all benefit from by following your instructions outlined in this post on how to eat mindfully =)

Thanks for the help!

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 11, 2016

    Hi Lawrence,

    Thanks for your comment. Eating mindfully has its benefits.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Steph September 11, 2016

I really like this post. Now with most people being glued to their phones, you really don’t appreciate what you are eating, while you eat it. I think putting the phones down helps a lot with that. I know I tend to eat less when I’m actually being mindful and can notice when my body says “okay, I’m full”.

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 11, 2016

    Hi Steph,

    Thanks for your comment. It’s nice to know that you actually practice eating mindfully and getting the benefit from it.

    Cheers,

    Kenny

    Reply
Scott September 11, 2016

Hi,

You are definitely right that eating mindfully will lead to weight loss. I seem to go through years of my life where I eat slowly, while also being conscious of my calorie intake. This enabled me to lose 30 pounds in four months and keep it off for a few years. Unfortunately, I stopped that habit after a while and am now back where I started before. I would like to use the tips you provided to start back in the weight loss direction. Motivation and self discipline are very important as well!

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 12, 2016

    Hi Scott,

    You are definitely right when you say motivation and self-discipline are important. But when you bring mindfulness practice into your life, you will be aware when you are trying to be lazy. Isn’t it?

    And thank you for sharing your story.

    Cheers,

    Kenny

    Reply
Hannah September 11, 2016

Great post. I think this is the issue with many people who gain weight and don’t know why. They do not focus on what they’re eating. We live in a culture of TV dinners and takeaways, which is obviously bad for you plus we have no idea what goes into half the food we eat. Eating mindfully could be the answer, for sure!

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 12, 2016

    Hi Hannah,

    We definitely can use some mindful eating habit. It’s good for our health and also makes food more delicious.

    Cheers,

    Kenny

    Reply
Ray September 11, 2016

Hi Kenny,

I’ve bookmarked this page. The steps to mindful eating sound so simple, and it really does make sense! As I work from home and being on my own during the day, my snacking habit is awful. I eat whenever I feel hungry, and as I eat my mind’s concentrated on work. Before I know it, the food is all in my stomach. I have put on weight in the last few months. Clearly I haven’t done any of the steps 1-7 in the list here… I will start trying tomorrow. To know that some people have actually lost so much weight with mindful eating habits, is encouraging. Thanks for the great article.

Ray

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 12, 2016

    Hi Ray,

    Thanks for checking out my post. Being mindful when eating not only keep our weight under control, it also make the food taste more delicious. Or should I say, we didn’t really tasted the food when we eat with our mind elsewhere.

    Cheers,

    Kenny

    Reply
Brandon September 11, 2016

Weight loss is everywhere these days, and no wonder it’s one of the most biggest industries online. With fast food stores at almost EVERY small town there is, and the food only seems to be getting fattier and more calorie-packed, I’m glad you are helping people with their weight issues.

I have never thought about mindful eating though, it seems like a very good secret to use, because you don’t see many people doing it.

Great post, and thanks so much for this information.

-Brandon

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 12, 2016

    Hi Brandon,

    Yes, mindful eating is about weight-loss and more. You are in better help and it’s a good thing to train your focus.

    Thanks for leaving a comment.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Kevin Bulmer September 11, 2016

Great post and reminder, Kenny. I clicked on the post to read it because I know I rarely do it. Too often, I view food as something I “need” to consume and don’t prioritize the mindfulness and ritual of it. I know I’m missing out on a lot by eating on the go, etc.

The good news is that I’m in better health and better shape than ever before, and I’m eating better foods. But I admit I’m not consistently taking the time to fully enjoy them. Your post gives me some powerful things to consider.

All the best,

Kevin

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 12, 2016

    Kevin,

    Thanks for your sharing your thoughts here. Eating has become something that we overlook especially in busy cities. We just check into a restaurant or fast food outlet, grab a meal and chew it up when we’re walking down the street. Sometimes we don’t even know how it tasted.

    There’s much to gain in mindful eating and health is top of the list.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Xdeem Li September 12, 2016

Humm, I don’t remember the last time I was mindfully eating!!! Thanks for the article. You must be referring to eating slow so your body and mind can digest the food at the same time. As a result, you fill full faster. Then again, I LOVE to eat!!!

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 12, 2016

    Hi Li,

    Maybe it’s the time to start now. I love to eat as well. Mindful eating is being aware of your eating process instead of checking your smartphone or engulfed in your TV series at the same time. Let’s do mindful eating.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Dustin September 12, 2016

Really interesting article, it’s crazy what the power of the mind can really do, loved the success stories.

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 12, 2016

    Dustin,

    Thanks for reading.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Adrian Prince September 12, 2016

This is a good post that reminds you that your food should be enjoyed and not rushed and that we should think about what we are eating and make sure that we are in the right mood to enjoy it.

Being thankful as well is important, when my wife and I sit down for dinner, we thank the Lord for our food, so it’s good to be grateful for what you have. Thank you for making me more aware of how I eat.

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 12, 2016

    Hi Adrian,

    Thanks for the comment. Sometimes we took for granted the hard labour involved in producing our food. Mindfulness helps us being grateful as we eat.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Elaine September 12, 2016

Oh man, you got me in the first paragraph as I realized that I couldn’t even remember what I had for dinner last night. And I’ll admit, especially when I’m eating alone, that I rarely have a meal or snack without my smartphone. I don’t necessarily need to lose weight but I do feel like I need some gratitude in my life in general and appreciating my food practicing more mindful eating seems like a great place to start. One thing I try and do, along the lines of mindful eating – I think – is to always use real plates and utensils if I’m at home. No eating out of Tupperware or off of a paper towel. I feel that this helps to “honor” and “respect” my food.

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 12, 2016

    Hi Elaine,

    I think you got the concept of mindful eating right. It’s as simple as when you eat, you put importance on the eating part. Using real plates and utensils made eating proper. I am trying to do away with the smartphone too. It is like rediscovering eating all over again.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Alan O'Neill September 13, 2016

Great site. Downloaded the Free meditation guide recently. Wanted a concise and comprehensive read before going to sleep. Your meditation guide is great and left me with great thoughts for a good night’s sleep.

Thank you.

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 13, 2016

    Hi Alan,

    Thanks for trying out my meditation guide. I’m glad you like it.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Dinh September 13, 2016

I completely agree with you that you can lose weight by being mindful.
I used to keep a food diary and that really help me focus on what I was eating and helped me lose weight. Being mindful makes you realise that perhaps you are thirsty and not hungry.

I would still encourage people to work out though. It’s great for the body!

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 13, 2016

    Hi Dinh,

    When we are mindful, we are aware of what our body is telling us. And yes, mindful eating is no substitute for working out. They complement each other well.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Hari September 14, 2016

This is something we should have taught from childhood, to pay attention to what we eat. I believe mindful eating is most effective, not only for reaching the ideal body weight but also for our overall health.

People think the hard way is what works, but the simple ways are sometimes that works better. However, by “simple” I don’t mean “simple, simple” but what is perceived because I know it is very difficult to be mindful while eating since it is not how our mind was programmed. Good work!

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 15, 2016

    Hari,

    Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I think what you are suggesting is that it is easy to “forget” to be “mindful. That happens. We just have to keep trying.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Helen Vella October 5, 2016

I always tell my clients to keep a food diary. This helps you see what you eat and you often get a bit of a shock when you find out what you are eating often. All of your tips are spot on and thank you for sharing them.

Reply
    Kenny Lee October 6, 2016

    Hi Helen,

    Agree. Sometimes we are wondering why we are putting on weight or why our health goes down the drain. It could be as simple as what we are eating in our meals.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
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