How Mindful Eating Can Help You Lose Weight

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Our homes are filled with hidden eating traps. How often do you pay attention to what you’re eating?

Food is a blessing and a gift to be savored and appreciated, particularly given that it is so easy to take it for granted. Eating out can be a minefield for dieters even the most healthful-looking meal can contain more than 1000 calories.

It does take some discipline to slow down and spend time with our food, when most of us lead such busy lives and often eat literally on the go. Also, most of us have too much chaos going on in our lives to consciously focus on every bite we eat, and then ask ourselves if we’re full. Mindless eating can happen at any time- before, during, or after a meal. This phenomenon is coined by psychologist and Cornell University consumer behavior professor Brian Wansink, whose research suggests that our eyes, rather than our stomachs, really do dictate how much we end up eating.

The intersection of mindfulness, eating and our relationship to food is the focus of many experts today. Whether you are overweight, suffer from an eating disorder, or just want to get more out of life, the art of mindfulness can transform our struggles with foo, and renew our sense of pleasure, appreciation, and satisfaction with eating.

Eating without thinking can lead to consuming unneeded calories and weight gain, if you’re just grabbing and eating, you’re going to end up most likely consuming more calories than you need. Mindfulness has been considered as a way to cut down on eating disorders, including binge eating, and it seems to work to reduce bingeing behavior, at least for some people. Practicing mindfulness can enhance overall well-being and the enjoyment you have with food without feeling deprived or guilty.

Most of us have attempted weight-loss numerous times. With most diet programs, the more one struggles the more intense the struggle becomes. We counted calories, we ate pre-packaged food or meal replacements. This tend to focus on the obtaining and eating food, rather than enjoying and experiencing it.  When we sacrifice what our food has to offer for the temporary satisfaction of eating, the food we crave is not fully enjoyed. Mindful eating is a skill that augments the usual approaches to weight loss, such as dieting, counting calories and limiting portion sizes.

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Mindful eating has been shown to have a positive impact on weight loss and binge eating disorders. Binge eating can profoundly affect your health, happiness and self-esteem. Most individuals who have struggled with obesity for much of their lives are accustomed to judging themselves, their food cravings, and their food choices. Consequently, these individuals tend to experience strong emotional responses to anything involving food, eating, or weight. When people address their mindless eating, they often naturally lose weight and binge eating was significantly reduced.

Many people think they can lose weight by going on a diet and under eating or any number of unhealthy ways, until mindful eating has officially entered the world. However, mindful eating is not a diet. Eating mindfully is being more aware of the tastes and sensations of the food we taste, which can change our perspective of the experience. It is more about how and why you are eating (are you hungry, tired, bored, or upset?). Awareness is key. Once you notice your motives, you can make the choice to act more mindful. It is important to always recognize your relationship with food. If you are acting mindlessly stop- take a moment and try to be more mindful.

Mindful eating rejects the typical diet mentality of restricting calories or types of foods. It focuses on being more in-tune with your body in order to eat in a way that answers both what you desire and what your body needs. Practicing mindful eating can help you figure out self-sabotaging overeating habits and release them.