After all the big meals and desserts consumed over the holidays, the start of a new year usually brings with it the pressure to lose weight and “get healthy again.” Instead of dieting, however, what if we were simply more thoughtful of the food we put into our bodies? What if we turned off the TV, set down our phones, and ate a meal fellowshipping with friends? Mindful eating requires you to shift the way you think about, prepare, and consume food. Because of this, it might take more time and effort than dieting, but it is far more effective and may even help you lose weight faster! Here’s how.
Mindful eating changes the way you think about food.
Mindful eating starts with slowing down, carefully putting together a plate of nutritious food, and then eating it slowly and thoughtfully. When you savor every bite of your meal, you see eating as an act of self-care. You are able to truly enjoy the process of nourishing your body. This helps you lose weight because the more you enjoy healthy, thought-out meals, the less you will crave quick junk food and snacks later. Those snacks tend to be where we pick up empty calories, extra sugar, etc. Additionally, on the occasion where you do have to grab food-to-go, slowing down helps you make healthier snack choices too.
Mindful eating helps your body develop a healthy digestive rhythm.
Mindful eating is about being thoughtful about the types and amount of food we eat. But mindful eating can also mean being more thoughtful about when and how often we eat too.
Eating regular meals at consistent times each day is better for our bodies than grabbing a quick bite to eat or going long periods of time without food. Grazing wreaks havoc on our metabolisms because it raises our insulin levels. And when we get busy and deprive ourselves of food, we tend to overeat at meals because our bodies are over-hungry and aren’t sure when the next meal is going to be. Getting into a healthy eating rhythm is great for weight loss because it helps your body learn when to expect nourishment and when to digest/burn calories. It gives your digestive system time to rest too, which is a necessary part of weight loss.