Mindful Eating Strategies
During your medical weight loss program, it’s important to develop healthy eating habits. Mindful eating is a way of eating that involves complete awareness of your food and how you digest it. It can be a useful tool when it comes to digestion, portion control, losing weight and eliminating “mindless” eating. In fact, mindful eating can even enhance how enjoyable your meal is.
How to Practice Mindful Eating
When you aren’t mindful of the way you eat, you might end up eating more than you had planned, or eating too quickly. These are both bad habits to form when trying to lose weight. Having proper portion control as well as awareness of what and how you’re eating is how you become a mindful eater. Here are some ways to eat mindfully:
- Focus on every bite. Every time you take a bite, be aware of the food. Acknowledge its texture and flavor.
- Slow down. One of the more important aspects of mindful eating. Relax while you eat and take your time. Often, your stomach is full before you realize. By slowing down the pace of your meal, it gives your brain a chance to know when your body is full.
- Finish chewing. Don’t take another bite of food until you’ve finished chewing and swallowing the last bite.
- Don’t multitask when you eat. Distractions cause you to lose track of how much you eat. It’s easy to eat three times as many chips as you first planned if you’re mindlessly watching TV during lunch.
- Start small. Since you may be new to mindful eating, don’t create an unrealistic expectation for yourself. If you can be mindful of just one meal or snack every day, you’re already better off than you were before.
Benefits of Mindful Eating
Mindful eating has many benefits, and combined with healthy dieting and an active lifestyle, it’s an incredibly beneficial tool for working toward weight loss success. Some benefits of mindful eating include:
- Reduce the possibility of over-eating and feel satisfied with less food since you’re able to understand when you’re full sooner.
- Improve your digestion by slowing down your eating process.
- Enjoy your food more by embracing all aspects of its taste and texture, while savoring every bite.
When we eat, it isn’t always because we’re hungry. Sometimes when we feel emotions like stress, anger, sadness or boredom, we turn to food for comfort, hoping that it will soothe some of the complex emotions we’re dealing with. Unfortunately, this often leaves us feeling worse.
Emotional eating happens when we eat because of emotions instead of hunger, and it’s a frequent cause of overeating. Everyone experiences emotional eating to some degree, but by learning how to anticipate and overcome it, you can help yourself achieve better health and lasting weight loss.
Eliminating Dieter’s Mentality
Many different diets can lead us to form rigid rules about what we should and should not eat. When we get stuck in a dieter’s mentality, we may deeply scrutinize our choices and feel angry or guilty when we eat something we believe to be bad.
Unfortunately, when we make eating choices based on inflexible rules and depriving ourselves of certain foods, it can make our desire to eat “bad” foods even stronger.
Carbohydrates and Weight Loss
Because carbohydrates can be used as a primary energy source by our bodies, they have an important role in our diets. However, many people eat carbs in excess, and this often contributes to weight gain. During your weight loss program, you’ll be reducing your carb intake, which will help you avoid the fat buildup caused by high carbohydrate consumption and take advantage of your body’s ability to burn fat.
Dining Out during Medical Weight Loss
Because preparing your own food at home will keep you in complete control of your diet, it’s the best way to ensure a healthy meal. You should try to keep eating out to a minimum during your medical weight loss program, which you can do by:
- Eating breakfast at home or bringing your own breakfast to work
- Bringing your lunch from home every day
- Cooking dinner at home at least five nights per week, and every night if possible
Reading Food Labels
This question has so many potential answers that it can be overwhelming to find the right one. Fortunately, there’s a tool that can help us make more informed eating decisions: the nutrition label.
Nutrition labels can tell us exactly what’s in our food before we eat it. If you know how to read nutrition labels, they can help you stick with a nutritious diet during your weight loss program and beyond.
Low Calorie Diets
While some weight loss diets focus on eliminating one food group or reducing the amount of food eaten at certain times of the day, a medically monitored low calorie diet is one of the most effective methods for achieving long-term weight loss.
Calories and Weight Loss
A calorie is a unit of energy. Each of us uses a certain amount of calories daily to perform tasks, like sleeping, walking and talking.
Dietary Fats and Medical Weight Loss in Scottsdale and Chandler
There are many types of fats, and most foods contain a variety of fats. Your body produces its own fat from excess calories while some fats are found in foods from plants and animals. These are known as dietary fats. Dietary fats, along with protein and carbohydrates, provide your body with energy. Although many people think of fat negatively, it is essential to your health because it supports a number of your body’s functions. Not all fats are bad. In fact, some even promote good health.
Glycemic Index and Weight Loss in Scottsdale and Chandler
The glycemic index (GI) is a measuring system that shows how foods containing carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels. GI uses a scale of 0 to 100, with pure glucose measured at a GI of 100. Foods with high GI are foods that are rapidly digested and absorbed and result in fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Low GI foods are slowly digested and absorbed; therefore they produce gradual rises in blood sugar levels and have proven health benefits and promote weight loss.
Healthy Eating for Weight Loss
The path to sustainable weight loss is paved with healthy eating habits that last a lifetime. This is especially true for anyone in a medical weight loss program. Developing healthy eating habits can help you lose weight and keep it off without feeling hungry.
Share a Meal
Avoid eating alone. Sharing healthy meals with others provides many social and emotional benefits – good company makes food taste better. Eating with others also provides subconscious clues about healthy choices, portion sizes, and a cue to stop eating. Dining alone, especially in front of the television or computer, leads to mindless overeating and habitual snacking.