During a typical day, an average person might hastily grab breakfast on the way out the door or in a fast food drive-thru. He or she might work while eating lunch and watch TV while eating dinner. This is the opposite of mindful eating, and it’s one reason why so many people find it difficult to lose weight. When you become a patient at a weight loss clinic serving Mt. Kisco and the surrounding Westchester County, you’ll learn the effective strategies—like mindful eating—that will help you finally reach your weight loss goals .
Understanding Mindless Eating
To manage your appetite by eating mindfully, it’s helpful to understand exactly what mindless eating is. Mindless eating is the act of consuming food without experiencing it. It often involves eating while working, texting, watching TV, studying, or even driving—which is dangerous as well as unhealthy. Mindless eating is also characterized by:
- Eating food to satisfy an emotional need
- Eating while isolated from others, at random times that aren’t mealtimes
- Ignoring the body’s satiety signals
- Eating to reach an end goal
Understanding Mindful Eating
Mindful eating is done to satisfy hunger, but it’s the process that matters—not the end result. With mindful eating, diners pay attention to each bite they take. They chew slowly, taking the time to experience the flavors, textures, odors, and even the temperatures of the food. A mindful eater can identify when he or she is half-full, full, or still hungry. Mindful eaters also pay attention to how they feel while eating, and after eating as they digest their meal. Considering how the food was grown or raised, processed, and cooked is another part of eating mindfully.
Practicing Mindful Eating
Mindful eating can be more difficult than you might think, as it’s easy to let the mind wander, or to get bored and turn on the TV. Try to start by eating a few mindful meals each week, and gradually increase their frequency. The following tips can help you get started:
- Turn your cellphone off
- Sit down to the meal with your family
- Face away from the TV
- Eat in companionable silence—don’t force conversation
- Eat slowly
Focusing your mind on the experience of eating can help you understand your appetite and manage it better. You’ll see concrete benefits as you lose weight.