Mindful eating is a dietary method that focuses on the individuals’ awareness while eating to enable them to develop a more positive and constructive relationship with food. On this basis, here are some of the best mindful eating habits.
A recent food and health survey revealed that more people are now becoming health conscious. In fact, 52% of the surveyed participants reported following a specific diet or eating pattern this year, an increase from 39% in 2021. Among numerous weight-loss approaches, 14% claimed they’re practicing mindful eating to help them lose weight. Although it might sound complicated, it’s pretty easy to adopt mindful eating.
The Benefits of Mindful Eating
So if you’re interested in learning more about it, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will discuss how mindful eating works in helping you lose weight and give you simple tips on how you can get started.
It Allows You to Better Control Your Appetite
Paying attention to how much food you’re consuming can reduce your likelihood of gaining unnecessary weight. Numerous studies have shown that attentive eating, which means eating without being distracted, influences your food consumption habits.
For instance, if you watch TV while eating, this can impair your memory of what you’ve consumed, making it more likely that you’ll increase your food intake later the same day.
Additionally, being mindful of how fast you eat can help you control your appetite. Generally, it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to recognize that you’re full. If you’re eating at a fast pace, you’re not giving your body enough time to respond to your hunger or fullness cues. As a result, you’ll probably eat more than necessary before your satiation kicks in.
To avoid overeating, remember to eat slowly. Thoroughly chew your food and pause in-between bites to allow yourself to swallow them properly.
It’s also best to remove all possible distractions while dining. Don’t use your phone or watch TV, so you’ll be attuned to how much and how quickly you’re eating.
It Helps You Appreciate Your Weight Management Journey More
Since mindfulness promotes non-judgmental awareness of your thoughts, feelings, and perceptions, you may develop stronger self-compassion for yourself. So being mindful of your food consumption also lets you appreciate yourself and your weight-related journey more.
As a matter of fact, researchers have found that mindful eating and self-compassion are related to each other.
They explained that self-compassion helps you decrease your body dissatisfaction, enabling you to view your body in a way that minimizes body shame. In addition, exhibiting self-compassion allows you to be less self-critical of yourself if you fail to achieve a goal. This is especially important when trying to lose weight since this can be a challenging experience for many.
If you continuously view yourself positively while on your weight-loss journey, it will help you maintain or even improve your motivation. Studies have shown that one of the most effective motivating factors for weight loss is treating yourself with kindness and acceptance instead of judgment and criticism.
That’s because self-compassion encourages you to be kind to yourself during challenging times, allowing you to easily get back on your feet, whether it’s for your weight-loss goals or life in general.
To build self-compassion, remember that no one loses weight overnight. What’s important is that you continue your progress, even if you stumble from time to time, because what matters most is that you’re determined to achieve your goal.
It Improves Your Daily Nutrient Consumption
Finally, mindful eating allows you to improve your nutritional intake.
If you’re mindful of your food consumption, you can prepare better and healthier meal plans since you’re more aware of how your food choices can affect your body. This means you’ll be more inclined to choose nutrient-dense foods like fruits and vegetables and avoid too many sweets to lower your sugar consumption.
It will also let you be mindful of your water intake. In our article on seven mini habits you can do every day, we mentioned that one of the most overlooked habits when it comes to physical and mental health is drinking water. By doubling the amount of water you drink, you’re boosting your overall health and helping yourself lose weight at the same time.
To help you be more mindful of what you’re eating, you can create a food journal where you regularly record the type and amount of meals and drinks you consume daily.
If you keep track of your eating, you can prepare healthier and balanced meals beforehand, allowing you to receive all the necessary nutrients you need without consuming too much food.