How mindful eating could be the key to weight-loss success
BEING MORE ATTENTIVE TO WHAT YOU’RE PUTTING IN YOUR MOUTH COULD BE THE REAL KEY TO SUCCESS IF YOU WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT. HERE’S WHY… AND HOW TO DO IT
‘Mindless eating is a modern-day malady. Our hectic lifestyles mean it’s all too easy to make mindless food choices. We reach for unhealthy snacks, we don’t take proper lunch breaks and we’re distracted while we eat’
Ever munched your way through a box of popcorn at the cinema when you weren’t even hungry? Devoured dinner in front of the TV without really tasting it? So many of us down that snack while checking emails or log onto Facebook over a cuppa and a biscuit… or two.
‘Mindless eating’ is all about being hardly aware of how much or even what you’re eating; and chances are you’re putting on weight because of it.
You’re definitely not alone in your eating-on-automatic-pilot habits.
“Mindless eating is a modern-day malady,” says Rachel Bartholomew, nutritional consultant and co-author with psychology coach Mandy Pearson of
Mindful Eating. “Our hectic lifestyles mean it’s all too easy to make mindless food choices. We reach for unhealthy snacks for a quick energy boost, we don’t take proper lunch breaks and we’re constantly distracted while we eat.”
This not only takes away the enjoyment of food, but it can lead to negative habits, such as overeating, yo-yo dieting and weight gain.
“Eating mindlessly means we pay little attention to the rich experience of eating and become disengaged from it,” says mindfulness teacher and author of A Year of Living Mindfully, Anna Black. “We’re eating quickly, and while we’re distracted, we’re less likely to pick up the physical cues that we’re full, and so we eat too much.” The good news is you can break free from these bad habits and learn to appreciate food (and be in control of it) simply by engaging your mind and turning to the ancient Buddhist practice of mindfulness. “Being mindful is about living in the present and paying attention to everyday experiences – whether a walk in the park or relaxing in a bath,” says Pearson. “You can apply these principles to your eating habits. When you’re fully present in your eating – tasting and savouring every mouthful – you’re in control. When you’re in control you start to realise you have a choice. When you realise you have a choice, you can choose to change your eating habits.” Mindful eating is about connecting with food and tuning in to what your body needs, so you’ll eat fewer of the bad things and fill up on nourishing food instead. “It’s about creating a healthy balance you’re in control of and feel great about,” says Pearson. “It’s about embracing the whole idea of food as something to linger over and to enjoy preparing and cooking, falling in love with food again.”
‘It’s about embracing the idea of food as something to linger over’