Mindful Eating: A Guide to Getting StartedPosted: May 24, 2017 in Healthy Eating by Craig Primack MD FACP
During your medical weight loss program you will encounter a lot of different dietary strategies and exercise habits. The majority of the dietary strategies that you will read about or be introduced to by your weight loss doctor will involve some degree of making changes to your food choices.
The reason that a certain diet works or doesn’t work often has less to do with the food itself than it has to do with your ability to stay with it mentally. Going on a meal replacement diet, is helped by the product taste and the nutritional completeness but this becomes meaningless if you cannot be consistent and stick with the plan. A slip-up here or a misstep there and it becomes very easy to abandon all hope and to return to your previous eating habits.
Rather than focusing exclusively on the food choices necessary to make a weight loss diet work, it is a better idea to think about the mental strategies that you can employ to help yourself stay on track with your weight loss plans.
Getting Started with Mindful Eating
The mindful eater is able to resist temptation and avoid unnecessary snacking because they are not thrown off by emotions, stress, or fatigue—experiences that prompt many people to begin to eat.
Here are a few strategies that can help you get started with being a more mindful eater:
- Pay more attention to the planning stages of your meal preparation. Get involved by making choices, looking into recipes and plating food in fun and creative ways.
- Think about the flavors that you love and consider the different foods that offer those flavors. You don’t need to go to your old-favorite snacks to get those same flavors. What healthy alternatives would you enjoy?
- Don’t let yourself be influenced by outside factors. Just because friends are eating, that doesn’t mean you need to indulge as well.
- Emotions can be difficult to manage, but overeating because of stress, frustration or sadness never actually helps you feel better. Be mindful to avoid situations like these that may cause you to overeat unintentionally.
Improving your mindfulness in association with your food choices and eating habits is a great place to start because mindfulness is exactly what you need to remain more diligent, determined, and focused on reaching your weight loss goal. Mindfulness is the process of being more deliberate in any given moment. To be mindful means to be present, considerate, and non-judgmental of yourself, of others, or of different foods. Find a weight loss support network who can help you stay on track with being a more mindful eater.