Health Tips

What Is Mindful Eating and Why Does It Help with Weight Loss?

Almost everyone is accustomed to mindless eating. We do this when watching TV, handling a project on your PC, scrolling through social media pages, or behind the wheels. The meal itself is mostly never on the radar, and without noticing or thinking about the food, you finish up several cookies or a whole bag of chips.

But according to recent research, focusing on what you're eating and consuming meals without distractions could help you develop your relationship with food. Changing how you interact with your meals could help you in many ways. The benefit that's most commonly associated with mindful eating is weight loss.

This detailed piece will guide you through mindful eating, its connection with weight loss, benefits to the body, and how to eat mindfully.

What Does Mindful Eating Entail?

Mindful eating is a skill derived from mindful meditation, the Buddhist practice of staying aware of the moment and being fully present to sense your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, and surrounding without debating or judging them.

With mindful eating, you'll be fully aware of the entire experience as you consume the food bit by bit. You'll be entirely focused on the eating experience, aware of your feelings and thoughts about food. The process fundamentally involves the following:

  • Slow eating with little distractions

  • Differentiating between real hunger and untrue hunger triggers

  • Appreciating the food

  • Engaging all your senses by identifying smells, colors, sounds, flavors, and textures

  • Knowing how the food affects your feelings

  • Paying attention to physical hunger cues

  • Learning how to address anxiety and guilt concerning food

choosing-between-healthy-and-junk-food

Mindful Eating and Weight Loss

Most weight-loss approaches don't offer long-term results. About 85 percent of people who fight off obesity and cut weight end up regaining or even exceeding their initial body weight in a few years.

Emotional eating, binge eating, eating outside, or consuming food based on craving are the most common contributors to this situation. Severe stress is another possible contributor to overeating and subsequent obesity.

Most scientific studies agree that people who practice mindful eating can lose substantial body mass by reducing stress and adjusting their eating behavior.

For instance, a six-week mindful eating roundtable among people with obesity noted a 4 kg (9 pounds) average weight loss. Another six-month study resulted in an even higher average of 12 kg (26 pounds), with no reported weight gain within the next three months.

By changing your perception of food, you'll replace eating-related negative feelings with improved self-control, positive sensations, and responsiveness. You'll easily address any unwanted eating behavior, which can substantially boost your long-term weight loss plan.

Eating mindfully also offers the following benefits:

  • Taking a break from the day's activities can ease anxiety and stress

  • It facilitates healthier choices as you'll now focus on the respective benefits of what you eat

  • You'll evaluate and change your interaction with food

  • You'll find meals more pleasurable by learning to appreciate food

  • It's a more balanced, healthier way to eat

  • Eating slowly improves your digestion

How to Practice Mindful Eating

Eating mindfully essentially narrows down to paying more attention to your cravings, hunger, food, and the way you feel before, during, and after eating. To make your next meal mindful, follow the following simple steps:

  1. Begin with a few deep breaths, then consider the health benefits of each food. A healthy meal is as close to its natural state as possible.

  2. Use your senses when shopping for food, preparing the meal, serving, and eating. How do various food types smell, feel, or look as you chop? How do the smells change as you cook? How does the food taste?

  3. Be curious about yourself and the food you intend to consume and make crucial observations like maintaining the correct, relaxed sitting posture. Acknowledge your environment, but tune the surrounding elements out when eating. You need to focus on the eating process to stay mindful.

  4. Evaluate your hunger level. How hungry do you feel? You should serve food when you're hungry and not as a way to avoid skipping meals. You should also understand your intention in eating the food. Are you actually hungry or just want to distract yourself? Is there anything else that you should be doing?

  5. happy man cooking in modern kitchen Now that it's served, it will be time to appreciate the meal. Pay attention to the shapes, smells, colors, and textures of the food. Do you feel any reactions? Does it smell good?

  6. Take a bite, then pay attention to how it feels in your mouth. How's the texture? Now try identifying the different flavors and ingredients. Chew the food thoroughly while paying attention to how it makes you feel.

  7. Notice how your eating experience continues to shift as the moments pass. Are you gradually feeling full? Take your time to focus on the occasion. Stay present, and don't rush while eating.

  8. Take breaks between bites. You can put your utensils down and take time to consider your current feeling before you pick up the fork and knife again. Pay attention to your belly, not the plate. Understand when you're satiated and stop eating.

  9. Within the meal, give gratitude and begin reflecting on where the different food components came from and anyone who contributed to it reaching your table. Minding the source of food can help you make more sustainable, wiser decisions.

  10. Continue ingesting the food slowly as you focus on any signals of fullness. You may talk to your companions. But if you're alone, stay fully aware and present to the eating experience.



The Bottom Line

Mindful eating can help you understand a lot about yourself and the food you consume. You'll better distinguish the food you need from what you eat for any other reason. You'll also learn to appreciate food and make wiser decisions regarding your diet and overall sustainability. Above all, it can be an excellent addition to your weight loss plan.

Unfortunately, weight loss can be compared to a drug problem treatment. While you may do everything to shed off some body mass, the likelihood of relapsing after the program is still high. That's why you need qualified weight-loss experts to guide you through the journey.

My New Beginning is our trusted partner in all matters regarding weight loss. We'll guide you through the journey and help you maintain your body state after the process. Contact us today to get started.

Google Maps image of City Hospital at White Rock

City Hospital at White Rock
My New Beginning
1151 North Buckner Boulevard 
Suite 308 
Dallas, TX 75218

BMI Calculator

Not sure if you qualify for bariatric surgery? Start by finding out your BMI.
Find out now >