If you have even glanced at my Facebook page you would know that I am a huge fan of Mindfulness. What a lot of people may not know is that Mindfulness is beneficial in so many areas, one of those is shedding kilos or maintaining your weight. How I hear you ask does Mindful eating help?
Well the first thing I always get my weight loss clients to do, is to align their goal of shedding kilos to a value. You see we can fail at a goal, but we never fail at a value. We may slip off course, but if we stay focussed (Mindful) then you will eventually achieve your goal.
The truth is, if we are not being Mindful we are being Mindless. Being Mindful is using our conscious mind, and being Mindless uses our subconscious mind – behaviours/ habits, our auto pilot, dare I say our programming.
Most of us don’t eat Mindfully. In fact we often are consumed with doing other tasks, working, watching TV, talking etc when eating. Sometimes we do it on the run and don’t really notice what it is that we are sticking into our mouths.
So if you want to shed some kilos or eat healthier, why not try these tips on Mindful eating:
- What value is this goal aligned to eg, Health, Family, Self Worth etc. Then say to yourself before you put anything into your mouth: “If I eat this _____ will I be living by my value of _____”. At least in this way you will be making a conscious choice.
- When you eat, sit down. No walking, talking, driving, being at the movies – nope nada nothing. Sit at a table or somewhere where you can focus your full attention on what you are about to eat.
- When you do eat make a conscious choice not to mirror those around you, unless of course they are eating Mindfully. If they are talking, watching TV, reading, distracted etc – then definitely do not mirror them.
- As you take a mouthful of food, put your cutlery down, or if a sandwich or something hand held, put it down. Then savour your food. What does it taste like, what is the texture, what is the temperature, where do you feel the food on your tongue, most importantly: how does your body feel when eating this food?
- The last point (italicised and bolded) is really important. Often our taste bud will reflect what our subconscious recalls, which is connected with feelings and emotions etc. If you eat consciously (Mindfully) and think about how it feels in your body, you may soon learn that your taste buds have been tricking you. And in fact something that you thought tasted good actually feels bad in your body. When you recognise and acknowledge this sensation in your body, your taste buds will eventually change their tune and that delectable morsel, will no longer be that delectable.
- When you shop be Mindful about what you buy, if you buy unhealthy foods and they are on display or easily accessible to you, then the temptation can be too great. So beware what you stock your cupboards with.
- This one may seem silly, but it works. Smile between each mouthful, why you ask? Well it gives you a chance to pause and reflect, most importantly smiling changes your physiology and makes you feel good. So if you are comfort eating due to not feeling so good, the feelings will subside quicker.
- If you are going to eat something ‘naughty’ then follow the tips above, what you may find is that you don’t eat as much. A handful of chips eaten consciously may be all you need instead of the bag.
I hope that these tips on Mindful eating assist with controlling your weight or shedding some kilos. I would love to hear how you go.