Mindful eating: A simple way to eat that's best for your bodyMindful eating is a nutrition idea that's less stringent than conventional dieting. Instead of weighing your food and counting calories, you eat according to what makes you feel good.
Based on the idea that humans have an intrinsic ability to decide how much and what types of food they need. The main objective is to listen to your body and become more mindful of your hunger and fullness cues to make better nutritional choices.
How Does Mindful Eating Work?
Most people who try mindful eating do so because they've had trouble with traditional diets. They may feel deprived or guilty when they break their diet, leading to binge eating and a vicious cycle of restrictive eating followed by overeating.
Mindful eating is different. There are no rules, except for one: Eat when you're hungry and stop when you're full. Because it's non-restrictive, it doesn't create a cycle of guilt for breaking the rules.
To practice intuitive eating, start tuning in to your body's hunger cues before you eat anything. Take note of your body's exact reaction when it needs fuel: perhaps your stomach growls or your mouth waters. Then, pay attention as you eat until you start feeling satisfied...then stop. An old Okinawan says, "eat until 80% full," and you might know that the Okinawans live long lives, so they might be onto something.
Mindful eating can seem daunting, but it's pretty simple. The idea is to tune into your body and listen to your internal cues. By doing this, you can learn to trust yourself when it comes to food and get the best results for your body regarding weight loss.
How exactly can you implement mindful eating?
Focus on how you feel, not how much you weigh:
Weight fluctuates for all sorts of reasons. Maybe you ate salty food, and you're holding onto more water than usual. Or perhaps you didn't sleep well, making you a little swollen the following day. Maybe you're putting on muscle, which weighs more than fat and can drive up the number on the scale. You could be suffering from PMS or experiencing other hormonal shifts that cause your weight to change. Your weight could also be affected by illness or medications or even something as simple as having too much fiber in your diet!
They say you should trust your gut, but what about your entire body? Mindful eating is about making food choices based on your body's natural cues. It may sound like an easy way to lose weight, but can it work?
The answer is a little complicated. If you listen to your body, it will tell you when it's hungry and when it's full. The problem is sometimes we don't want to hear. We deny our bodies the calories they need to function correctly. And then, when the hunger pangs start, we eat way more than we should to make up for lost calories.
The bottom line: Mindful eating can help you make better food choices. Make good choices most of the time, and don't beat yourself up if something draws you outside your healthy zone. You will have less pressure to be perfect, so you won't shame or punish yourself when you're tempted to stray from your diet.
Really, to summarize, try to be mindful and apply mindfulness to your eating.