Mindful Eating: A Key to Sustainable Weight Management

Jul 04 , 2024

Agital ECI

Mindful Eating: A Key to Sustainable Weight Management

Who doesn't love to sit in front of the TV with your favorite show and a bag of chips? But what about when you eat that entire bag in one sitting? Then you make some popcorn and eat all of that. The next day you eat the entire box of mac n cheese because who wants to eat that as leftovers?

Notice a pattern? We also don't taste our food when eating in front of the television. We multi-task a little too much, and our body is paying the price. Here's why taking a more mindful approach to eating will not only repair your relationship with food, but maintain a healthy weight in the long-term.

What Mindful Eating Looks Like

Mindful eating creates a positive relationship with yourself and the food you eat. It's building a heightened experience with food in a way that doesn't feel judgey. We all love to eat our favorite foods, and it should always be that way. Yes, some meals are better than others, but we should only put food and vitamins into our bodies that will bring out the best in us.

You should not deny yourself anything, but remember that moderation is the trick. There is no guilt or shame in eating, only being mindful of how often and how much you eat. When we feel guilty, we binge eat or don't eat at all, which is the most unhealthy way to be with food.

Mindful eating habits
  • Chew your food properly
  • Don't rush through every meal
  • If you can, turn off the TV when eating, and do not touch your phone
  • Remember, you do not have to finish every bite

When was the last time you remembered how your dinner tasted as opposed to the fact that you remembered what you ate? We need to reconnect with our food to have a healthier relationship with it. Don't even have your phone in the same room with you while you eat. If it's possible, don't watch the television, either. If you live alone, try putting on music to enjoy the meal.

Chewing your food is a big one. We wolf down our food, not tasting it, not knowing how many bites we took, and without realizing it, the plate is empty because we were mindlessly eating. Slow it down. The recommended number of chews per bite is 20 to 40 times, so try to get to 20 for a start.

There is a whole group of us raised on the threat of not being able to leave the table if you didn't finish every bite. Let's rewire our brains to create better habits for ourselves. Eat until you are full. Leftovers mean no cooking the next day, and that's always fun.

How Mindful Eating Leads to Sustainable Weight Management
  • When you listen to your body without distractions, it will tell you exactly what it needs
  • Have better gut health and digestion
  • Learn better portion control
  • Have an overall better relationship with food
  • Stop binge eating. No more eating your emotions

Maybe you binge for a few weeks and then get back on a healthy kick. You lost the few pounds you gained, but now your healthy stint is over, and you are back to your snack attack schedule.

Say goodbye to unhealthy eating habits. Your weight will become stable once you make mindful eating habits a part of your lifestyle. These are lifestyle changes, not a band-aid fix. Take away the emotional triggers, guilt and shame, and make eating a joyous experience. Have you ever seen how excited kids get to have dinosaur chicken nuggets? We want you to feel like that for every meal.

How To Be More Mindful of Eating

If you have never thought about food this way and don't know where to begin, that's okay. It won't happen in one day or one week. This is a lifelong journey, not a trend, and we all have to start at the beginning. To learn more about where to begin, try taking our wellness quiz or following these simple tricks:

  • Have a friend or support person for help
  • Be adventurous and playful with cooking
  • Start small

With any lifestyle change, if you need a support system, find a friend to go on this adventure with you. It's easier when you have someone to talk the process through with, but the accountability is also there.

If you have no idea how to cook, now is a great time to learn. Start with simple recipes, but don't be afraid to branch out from what you'd normally eat. Don't be Sam I Am. Try those green eggs and ham.

The best advice is to start small. You aren't going to get it on the first try and magically be mindful about your diet by the end of the day. Pick one thing, like making sure your phone is never in your hand while you eat, and make that a habit. Then pay attention to when you feel full so you stop eating. This needs to be sustainable in the practice for it to work.

Weight Loss Shouldn't Be The Only Goal

If you are going slowly and layering habits in, your body needs time to adjust. Do not give up if you don't drop 10 pounds in the first week. Better digestion and living a healthier lifestyle are the bigger goals, and from there you should see an improvement in your body. It's about a healthier weight, not a yo-yo of ups and downs.

Today is a beautiful day to heal your relationship with food and enjoy your meals again. We get to eat the most delicious food, so enjoy it in a way that enables it to fuel our bodies positively. Let's put down the emotional support snacks and pick up mindful eating habits to empower ourselves.