How to Develop & Practice Mindful Eating?
Today’s world moves at 100 mph. We are often multi-tasking, doing more than one thing at a time whether we are at work or home. We complete tasks without thinking to the point that they are just about mindless.
Mindless eating can become a problem over time –particularly since our brain does not recognize it is full for nearly twenty minutes after we finish eating.
What Does It Mean to Eat Mindfully?
We eat and eat past the point of satisfaction. We see this with binge eating quite often where we gorge on food past the point of return. With mindful eating, we can dedicate our full attention to our meal and slow down to intentionally consume our food at a leisurely pace.
Mindful eating (ME) has its origins in Buddhist teachings. ME requires us to be present and aware at the moment as we are eating. During meals, where distraction might take hold, mindful eating helps us to shift our energy to the meal before us rather than engage in other things.
Why Is Mindful Eating Important?
Mindful eating proposes that we pay close attention to what our bodies are telling us and what it is we are putting into our mouths. It suggests that we make every effort to indulge in healthy food choices that we do not purchase from restaurants but instead must purchase, prepare and serve ourselves for best results.
Adopting mindful eating practices means having to approach meals differently. During ME, you expand your consciousness by focusing on the sensation and purpose of each grain of food. It is not to be confused with dieting.
Mindful eating is not a diet. Rather, it is all about you experiencing meals in a different light and challenging us to rethink how we encounter food.
9 Tips To Build The Mindful Eating Habit
1. The Mindful Eating Grocery List
The items you now toss into the cart will require you to choose foods that revolve around whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and healthy oils.
2. Eating When Hungry vs. Starving
Mindful eating means eating when you are hungry and not skipping meals. You are not giving up any food, but you are examining your eating habits and whether or not the food you are eating is satisfying.
3. Recognizing Emotional Eating and Real Hunger Signs
When we are in tune with our minds and bodies, we also know when stress, frustration, loneliness or boredom are driving our dietary habits. Mindful eating suggests we pay close attention to hunger signals and take the time to differentiate them from emotional hunger triggers.
4. Consider How Food Makes You Feel
As you are eating, use this time to reflect on how this food makes you feel. Imagine having just consumed an entire bowl of carbs.
How does it make you feel? Do you feel good about what you just ate? Do you feel bad? Will you eat another bowl of this food in the future? Maybe you will think about changing your portion size.
5. Stopping When Full
Your body will let you know when you are full. With mindful eating, you should take note and recognize all of the signs that it’s time to halt versus eating past your stomach’s real capacity.
Your pace is purposeful, and you are in sync with your body, stopping when your body says it is full. Ideally, you are chewing each bite twenty to thirty times, setting your utensil down, then picking it up when its time for another bite.
6. Get Rid Of The Distractions
Seize every opportunity you can for quiet time and reflection. Silence is a wonderful way to concentrate on the food you are consuming and incorporating mindful eating practices. Of course, if the ability to enjoy a quiet meal is not realistic, look for other ways like snack time to enjoy the peace.
7. Savor The Taste
Close your eyes and taste every herb, spice, and splash of lemon. Savor the textures and flavors in your mouth and reflect your meal. You can talk with others briefly about your meal or silently reflect on each ingredient in peace.
8. Sit At The Dinner Table
Get off the couch and sit down at the dinner table where you can focus on the meal at hand.
9. Start With One Meal
The good news is that you do not have to dive in head-first to completely changing every meal into a mindful eating event. You can choose a single meal to practice mindful eating habits to start, then slowly, increase the practice of ME over a several weeks and months.
Finding the perfect formula to curb your appetite may seem overwhelming, but it is completely manageable. There several natural ways to curb your appetite whether choosing to pursue mindful eating or electing to increase the number of healthy foods in your diet. You can naturally take control of your hunger, reducing the urge to binge on unhealthy foods and potentially promote weight loss.
What Do Doctors Prescribe for Appetite Suppressants?
Appetite suppressants come in a variety of forms including drinks, pills, supplements and whole foods. They trick our minds and keep us from overeating. These appetite suppressants often help to manage the neurochemical transmitters of our central nervous system and slowly enables us to decrease the amount of food we are eating.
This action not only affects our appetite but our mood as well. Not every appetite suppressant yields the same results and not every appetite suppressant (if any) can help with managing emotional eating habits.
There are a few FDA-approved weight loss medications that suppress the appetite and support weight loss. (Source)
- Osymia (Phentermine and topiramate) reduces our appetite and desire for food. This medication is prescribed by physicians for those with a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 30 or for those who have a BMI of 27 or higher.
- Saxenda is an injectable medication that helps those looking to lose weight feel fuller sooner.
- Belviq helps to control the appetite by activating serotonin receptors that regulate hunger.
- Contrave is another popular weight loss medication that helps to boost the number of calories burned while also helping to reduce your overall appetite and cravings.
Natural appetite suppressants are preferable to the likes of pills or even liquids. They do not contain artificial additives, preservatives, chemicals, or substances that might cause dangerous symptoms like chest pain, palpitations, light-headedness or dizziness. Some suppressants reportedly cause jitteriness, headaches, diarrhea, and insomnia. (Source)
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