Mindful Eating For Weight Loss – Can You Really Skip The Gym?
I’ve been dragging food-related pictures into a couple of my posts recently. 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.
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.
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,
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, savoring 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 of your survival. 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
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 are the simple steps to mindful eating.
1. Relax, and contemplate the nature of your food. Realize 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 color. 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
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.
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.