8 Steps to Achieve Weight Loss Through Mindful Eating
We get bombarded by fad diets and celebrity endorsements almost everyday on social media. It is confusing and frustrating at times to figure out what diet is truly the best fit for us. Whether the goal is weight loss or weight gain or something in between, what’s the ideal diet one should follow?
No matter what your goals, there is one strategy that has been proven to achieve positive results. It is called mindful eating.
According to The Washington Post -
More and more research points to mindfulness - not certain foods - for weight loss - washingtonpost.com
Mindful eating is not a fad diet or a specific diet. It is a way to listen to your body and have a great relationship with food. By doing so, you use your body’s natural process to create a balanced, healthy lifestyle. Not only can you lose weight or achieve other health goals, you will end up feeling good about yourself and the control you have over your health.
According to Consumer Reports - Mindful eating can help you lose weight and sustain that weight loss - consumerreports.org
In a study published in the Journal of Family Medicine & Community Health in 2018, Subjects in the intervention group lost six times more weight than those in the control group.
So how do you implement Mindful Eating in your daily life? Here are some simple steps that can help:
1 - Learn to recognize when you are hungry
This is the most important rule of mindful eating. When you are about to grab a snack ask yourself this question - Am I truly hungry? Do I really need to eat at this very instant? You can definitely tell if your body craves for food. If you are not hungry, then abstain from eating. Once you start being mindful of these hunger signs, this habit will come naturally to you.
2 - Stop eating when full
When we are at a restaurant or at a party, very often we end up eating large portions. Just because you are presented with a large portion size doesn’t mean you have to finish it. When your body stops being hungry, stop eating.
Try using smaller plates to limit portion sizes so you don’t end up inadvertently eating more than you need. You can always go back for another serving if you are still hungry.
3 - Avoid emotional eating
Almost everyone is guilty of this. When we are stressed or going through challenging times, we tend to find relief in comfort foods. We do this even when our body is not hungry and we don’t really need to eat. When you get that late night urge to munch on those snacks, think about whether you are truly hungry. If not, try to abstain from eating. If you absolutely must eat, try to munch on something healthy like a teaspoon of peanut butter or maybe some fruits or nuts.
4 - Take time to eat, and enjoy your food
Most people tend to watch TV or browse the internet while eating. When you are distracted, it is hard to be aware of your hunger signs. Try to sit at a table and focus on eating, away from any distraction. This will help you be mindful of your hunger and also truly enjoy your food.
5 - Eat healthy, balanced meals
Eating healthy, nutritious food will help you feel full and satisfied. It is also essential to managing and avoiding chronic diseases. Pay attention to the nutrients that are in the foods you eat. Eat foods that are rich in fiber. Avoid foods that have lots of added sugar. You can use the HealthSoup App to check the nutrients in the foods you eat. If you need help you can consult with a nutritionist to get personalized nutrition advice.
6 - Don’t forget exercise
According to the National Institute of Health, you need over 150 minutes of exercise/ week with moderate activity or over 75 minutes with vigorous activity. Moderate exercises can be as simple as brisk walking daily for 30 minutes. No diet is complete without an exercise component, so don’t forget to include this in your daily regimen.
7 - Track everything you eat
Writing down what you eat can help you be mindful of your diet. The HealthSoup mobile app is a great way to track your food and exercise. With our app, you can add a photo, or food or search through a database of 350,000+ foods and nutrients verified by the USDA. You can view the progress you are making and also share your journal with a friend or nutritionist to get advice.
8 - Get help from a nutritionist coach
Need help understanding what foods to eat, or what to avoid? Consider consulting with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) who is licensed to provide nutrition advice. With HealthSoup you can connect with a licensed nutritionist and get 1-on-1 coaching online from the comfort of your home. Your nutritionist will also have full access to your food log and will be able to provide personalized nutrition advice that works for your lifestyle.
It’s really not that hard to follow a mindful eating lifestyle. Once you are able to implement these steps and form a seamless habit, you will be on the path to achieving your health goals and feeling awesome.
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