The Benefits of Mindful Eating and How Can it Help You Lose Weight
There are a lot of benefits to mindful eating that can improve your overall health. Learn what they are and how they can help you lose weight.
Mindfulness is a state of being that focuses on the present moment—being aware and accepting of your thoughts, feelings, and messages from your body. Did you know you can also apply this to eating? When you practice mindful eating, it can have a positive impact on your emotional and physical health, your relationship with food, and ultimately, your weight.
1. You are more in tune with your body’s cues
It takes nearly 20 minutes for your stomach to send a message to your brain that you are full. When you slow down and eat mindfully, you recognize when you feel satisfied and stop eating. You’ll consume fewer calories than if you hurried through your meal, possibly eating more than you need.
2. You’re more aware of your body’s hunger signals
When you are hungry, you may experience physical signs of hunger, such as low energy, lightheadedness, headaches, and a growling stomach. You may also feel hungry as a result of emotional signals, such as feelings of sadness, frustration, loneliness, or boredom. At Profile, our coaches teach about hunger and emotions so you can be aware of where your signals are coming from, understand why you are feeling hungry, and plan the best way to handle those signals.
3. It encourages good meal habits
Mindful eating helps you to plan for a healthy meal routine. This can mean sitting down at a table for your meals and focusing on enjoying your food instead of eating distracted in front of a screen. It could also mean eating from a small plate to help control portions (download our free portion guide for more on this), or enjoying a meal with others if possible. When you share a meal, you’ll pause from eating to participate in conversations, which will help you recognize those satiety signs your body is sending you.
4. You will understand what’s motivating you
Mindful eating helps you to recognize foods that are emotionally comforting to you versus foods that are healthy for your body. When you are feeling anxious or stressed, you may want to turn to food for comfort. This is because when stressed, your body releases a hormone called cortisol that causes you to crave sugar, fat or both. Mindful eating makes you aware of that desire, and if you do decide to indulge in that comfort food, you will use all of your senses to appreciate it and enjoy it fully. You will have the skills to deal with impulses and have more control over your comfort food choices.
5. You will notice how foods make you feel
When you mindfully make healthy food choices, you will feel strong, empowered and in control. Healthy foods can physically make you feel more energetic and alert.
6. It changes your relationship with food
One of the biggest benefits of mindful eating is it removes the diet mentality of labeling foods as “good” or “bad.” Food is just food, and your food choices are made after careful evaluation, control, and decision.
People who practice mindful eating gain an overall better understanding of how food fuels their bodies and impacts how they feel. This can often result in weight loss, because they are more aware of their food choices, have a healthier relationship with food, and have developed healthier meal habits.
Want to learn more about the benefits of mindful eating and the role it plays in your overall health? Profile by Sanford can help! Our science-based weight loss program is focused on losing weight in a healthy way. Profile’s delicious and flexible meal plans, motivational tracking tools, and compassionate one-on-one coaching give you the encouragement, support, and accountability you need to meet your goals. Schedule your free consultation today!