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Mindful Eating is the KEY to Maintaining Your Weight.

mindful eating


Mindful eating is making thoughtful decisions about hunger and eating. The sometimes intuitive method is essentially translating the mental data about your feelings, your appetite, and your state of being into action. For example, can you tell the difference between when you're dehydrated or hungry? When your body communicates that it needs energy how do you respond?Do you speak the same language as your body? More importantly, do you listen? Do you practice accurate interpretation of your food needs? If you eat until you're painfully stuffed, quickly scarf down meals, or have trouble maintaining your weight then you struggle with mindful eating.

In all my experience it's not losing or gaining weight that's most difficult about weight management but the weight maintenance itself. It's when you're no longer adhering to the limitations of a weight loss program that the real work sets in. What I'm describing is the dreaded yo-yoing that can happen with diets. You go several weeks sticking to a relatively strict dieting and successfully shed your excess pounds. Once you've hit your goal you relax and without those boundaries, the weight slowly comes back until you're forced to repeat the process all over again. While the back and forth is more prevalent with crash dieting, it certainly occurs with healthier methods as well. It is your mental state and your behaviors that dictate your ability to make your results stick, not any one diet. What if you never needed to diet again? What if this was the last time you needed to aggressively shed pounds to get back down to your comfortable weight? What you're missing are the tools to make your results sticky, and these tools aren't ones you can buy because they're all in your head. The key to maintaining your hard work is mindful eating. It is how your health and wellness becomes a lifestyle.

Here's are some examples of a mindful eating dialogues between you and yourself:

Before You Decide to Eat

You: What am I feeling?......

You: I feel hungry...

You: ....but am I actually confusing thirst, boredom or fatigue for hunger?

You:I feel rested, but I haven't drunk any liquids in a couple hours...

You: I should drink some water or tea and then see if I still feel hungry

While You're Eating

You: I'll eat this meal or snack and see how I feel...

You: Am I eating too quickly? Am I appreciating and savoring my meal?

You: Am I comfortably full and satisfied?

You: I feel full but not stuffed, I should stop and save the rest for later.

As you can see, it truly is a conversation. For some people, mindful eating is an intuitive behavior, and they are not conscious of their healthy decision making. You may notice that these are the people who have "been the same size forever" or generally don't experience major weight fluctuations. These are the people who are often described as "lucky" or with "high metabolisms." In reality, it is not luck at all. They just eat when they're hungry, stop when they're full and choose healthier food options. If you struggle with overeating or eating too quickly, that means crucial mental dialogue never happens. However, that's not the end of your story. On the contrary, it's just the beginning because like with riding a bike, mindful eating is a skill and it can be taught and practiced.