Eating mindfully can help you reach your weight loss goals.

According to Google, mindfulness is “the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something”. If we apply that awareness to our food, mindful eating aims to reconnect us more deeply with the experience of eating – and enjoying – our food. This can be very helpful in terms of weight loss (especially where it concerns our tendency to overeat) by slowing us down, making us savour each bite, and helping us keep track of our fullness and hunger levels.

Too often we don’t pay attention to the practice of eating – we’re often busy doing something else at the same time, like working, driving, reading, watching television, or focusing on our social media or other technology enough so that we’re not fully aware of what we’re eating. And this mindless eating – a lack of awareness of the food we’re consuming – may be a contributor to our weight challenges.

Mindful eating requires that we be fully attentive to our food — what we buy, how we prepare it, serve it, and consume it. By eating mindfully, we restore our attention and slow down, making eating an intentional act instead of an automatic one.

Here are some simple and fun ideas you can shift any unconscious eating habits and incorporate more mindfulness into your mealtimes:

  1. Chew each bite 25 times.
  2. Feed yourself with your non-dominant hand.
  3. Eat everything with chopsticks for a week.
  4. Put your fork down between each bite.
  5. Take your first bite with your eyes closed.
  6. Try to identify every ingredient in your meal.
  7. Put your food on a plate.
  8. Enjoy your meals at a table.
  9. Make mealtimes more of a deliberate event – dress up, light a candle, add soft music.
  10. Turn off the TV / your phone and eat in silence.

Together with regular exercise, mindful eating can have a significant impact on your weight loss success.

Dr. Sarah Sjovold is a Naturopathic Doctor practising at Livstil Wellness Clinic. She regularly sees patients in the Langley and Surrey area looking for help with digestion, detoxing. and immune support.

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