Whenever the topic of changing your eating habits comes up, it almost always leads to the discussion of weight loss. There is nothing wrong with intentional weight loss if that is something important to you and will improve your life. But can having a more mindful eating mindset help you lose weight? Here are some things to know about the link between them.
Important: Mindful Eating is Not Meant as a Weight Loss Tool
While it’s common to see the pounds start shedding once you practice mindful eating, weight loss shouldn’t be the main focus. If all you do is think about eating as little as possible and counting calories, mindful eating will not be effective for you.
1. You Stop Overeating
One of the more common reasons mindful eating may help you to lose weight is because you tend to eat just until satisfaction — without overeating. Mindless eating is closely tied to overeating, since you eat so fast and without thinking, that you don’t even know you were full many bites ago.
Overeating is so easy to do, especially if you are used to more mindless eating. This means you have other things going on while eating. Or instead of putting normal portions out on a plate, you bring the entire bag or box with you. Just a little prep and mindfulness can help prevent this.
RESOURCE: Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think (book)
2. Helps You Understand Your Cravings, Hunger and Fullness Cues
The more mindful you are throughout the day, the more you understand your body’s signals for hunger, fullness, and even cravings. Your body is incredibly smart, and constantly telling you what you need to know. The problem is that you might not be listening. These cues get crowded out by diet talk and body image problems. Put those aside for now and just try to pay attention to when your body is hungry or full.
RESOURCE: Clever Fox Food Journal(notebook / journal)
3. Reduces Emotional Eating Habits
If you struggle with emotional eating, mindful eating will help a lot with that. Emotional eating may cause you to eat foods that aren’t very nutrient-dense and often in higher quantities because they are overly processed and don’t really help you get full.
4. You Enjoy More Nutritious Foods
The more you listen to your body, the more you’ll notice how much better you feel when eating nutritious, nutrient-dense foods. You will understand when you crave protein or vegetables, or when you crave something quick and satiating.