Reaching, and maintaining, a healthy weight can be challenging for many. Over the past 30 years working with thousands of clients to help improve their wellness, understand weight loss, lose weight, and sustain weight loss with individualized diet plans, I am happy to say the mindful eating fad is one I approve.
Everyone is talking about mindful eating as a technique to help you gain control over your eating. In essence, mindful eating means being fully attentive to your food — as you buy, prepare, serve, and consume it.
This eating behavior reduces intake while enhancing the pleasure of eating, replacing distracted eating which increases intake and reduces pleasure. But talking about mindful eating isn’t enough. It takes specific strategies to implement.
MINDFUL EATING PRINCIPLES
IT’S ABOUT HOW TO EAT, NOT WHAT TO EAT
- Slow down the pace of eating (e.g., take breaks during bites, chew more slowly, take a break to breathe and assess fullness);
- Eat away from distractions such as the television or computer or eating in the car
- Become aware of the body’s hunger and fullness cues and utilize these cues to guide as opposed to following a regimented diet plan;
- Acknowledge responses to food (likes, dislikes, neutral) without judgment
- Choose to eat food that is both pleasing and nourishing by using all the senses while eating
- Be aware of and reflect on the effects caused by unmindful eating (e.g., eating out of boredom or sadness, overeating to the point of feeling uncomfortable). Identify triggers and unhealthy eating behaviors.