I get a lot of questions about mindful eating. I think it is a very interesting topic and an interesting way to lose weight. However, I’m not certain that mindful eating can be the first step in weight loss for many people.
I’m only speaking from personal experience, and from the experience of working with many, many people over the years.
So first of all, what is mindful eating?
- Using your own inner wisdom to determine your food choices.
- Paying attention to what you are eating and how it is making your feel.
- Using your senses to fully appreciate your food and pay attention to when your body tells you that you are full.
- Mindfulness encourages listening to your inner being to pick foods your body needs and to stop when you are full.
So there’s a brief description of what it is. Here is what my experience with mindful eating has been.
In my experience, people who have struggled with their weight for a long time often have a warped perception of what their body is telling them, and many of them may find mindful eating hard to follow because they do not have a good grasp on what healthy eating looks like.
That was my case. Although I had “only” been obese for 10 years, I had lost sight of what it felt like to feed my body healthy foods, how to visualize what a true portion looked like, and wasn’t able to trust that my body was telling me the right things.
For me, it took more of a scheduled, planned out strategy to successfully lose weight. When I tried to lose weight by paying attention to what my body was telling me, I found that I couldn’t really rely on my body because my body still craved and desired massive amounts of fatty, salty and sugary foods.
Over time, I became more certain that my body actually knew what was good for it, and could begin to trust that my mind would follow. However, even then, I found that having some benchmarks for food consumption to be a benefit for me.
As many of you know, I chose to make certain that my fat consumption remaining in the healthy range of about 30 percent, I watched portions, and exercised faithfully. This helped me stay focused, while still allowing me to eat a lot of different foods.
I feel like eating mindfully can go hand in hand with using a healthy program that gives you enough parameters to retrain your mind and give you success at weight loss at the same time. However, I think that solely relying on mindful eating in the beginning of your weight loss program can be difficult for most people.
What do you think? Is it just one or the other, or can both co-exist for a solid weight loss plan that works for most people? Diane
Photo credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net by Pong