Magic or mindful eating?

I had been either overweight or obese for years, and yes, I hate both those words. It’s not that my weight defined me, but it held me back, and made my life less fun in pretty much all ways. I had been struggling with my unwanted weight for a long while, perhaps a decade. I had dieted and had lost weight, but the process was always unpleasant and I always put weight back on.

Then I discovered a new way to lose weight, one that wasn’t so restrictive, one that worked, one that seemed too good to be true, one that seemed like magic. It was mindful eating; the process of thinking more about my food, slowing down, chewing more, savouring and increasing my enjoyment of food.

All this newfound pleasure, instead of making me put on weight, actually helped me to lose weight; and so I was hooked. After losing 85 pounds with mindful eating I am a convert, and now I want to help others discover this magic trick, so I created Eatiful, my own blend of mindful eating and CBT designed especially to enable sustainable weight loss for people who’ve been failed by diets. And let’s face it, who hasn’t been failed by diets?

Mindful eating in itself isn’t new, it’s a practice that has been gaining popularity in recent years for a variety of reasons. And mindful eating isn’t something designed as a weight loss solution. It’s low on the list of official advice from healthcare professionals in terms of ways to lose weight.

So why is mindful eating so helpful for weight loss? What’s the magic?

At its core, mindful eating is all about being ‘present’, or fully engaged with your food. It’s about paying attention to the colours, textures, and flavours of what you’re eating, and taking the time to savour each bite. It’s about being aware of your body’s hunger and fullness signals, and eating in a way that nourishes and satisfies you.

One of the key benefits of mindful eating is that it can help you develop a healthier relationship with food. When you’re fully present and engaged with your food, you’re less likely to turn to it as a source of comfort or distraction. Instead, you can learn to listen to your body’s cues. This can lead to better eating habits e.g. only eating when you are truly hungry, so you eat less for comfort, boredom, stress or other reasons.

Another benefit of mindful eating is improved digestion. When you take the time to fully chew your food and savour each bite, you’re giving your body the time it needs to break down and absorb the nutrients in your food. Better digestion can lead to less bloating and discomfort, and an overall feeling of wellness.

People also say that mindful eating brings more joy and pleasure to life. When you approach eating with a sense of mindfulness and appreciation, you can truly savour the flavours and textures of your food. You can learn to appreciate the beauty of the natural world and to feel grateful for the abundance of nourishing foods that are available to you.

But I was less concerned with feeling at one with the natural world, and more concerned with feeling at one with my own body. Indeed, the biggest benefit for me was of course weight loss. And it wasn’t just a little weight loss, oh no, I used mindful eating to lose 85 pounds naturally and really quite enjoyably.

Weight loss is a goal that many of us strive for, but it can be a challenge to achieve and maintain. Crash diets and restrictive eating plans may offer short-term results, but they’re often unsustainable in the long run. That’s where mindful eating comes in — it’s a powerful tool for weight loss that can help you achieve sustainable results while also improving your relationship with food.I started eating mindfully, simply by eating slowly. Once I’d learned how to do that and practised rigorously every day, everything else fell into place from there.

Learning to eat slowly and savour my food was totally new for me. I had been one of those people who ate fast. I enjoyed my food, or so I thought. With hindsight, I doubt I was enjoying food very much at all. Slowing down was totally alien to me at first, but then it became easier and enjoyable. I still don’t eat super slowly, there’s no need, learning to slow down taught me that my stomach feels full from a much smaller amount of food, so now I know intuitively how much food I need to maintain my weight.

Some people worry that they will still feel like they’re missing out if they stop eating sooner, or when there’s still food left on the plate. When you’re eating mindfully, you’re more likely to stop eating when you’re satisfied, rather than continuing to eat out of habit or boredom. Of course, this leads to a reduction in overall calorie intake, which is key for weight loss. After you’ve stopped eating when you feel full because you’ve been eating slowly and mindfully, you may even be shocked by just how little food you really need to feel satisfied. Once you learn mindful eating you will learn to enjoy feeling satisfied and you will feel confident about leaving excess food behind.

And that’s the magic. Whereas on a diet, you feel a longing for food you can’t have, with mindful eating, you feel pleasure in the food you do eat and pleasure in the new sense of control you feel around food. It feels great to feel full and leave unnecessary food on your plate. In this way, mindful eating can help you break free from the cycle of dieting and bingeing.

Mindful eating is a powerful tool for weight loss that can help you achieve sustainable results while also improving your relationship with food. It certainly helped me.

At Eatiful, we took the best bits of mindful eating (the ones that really work for weight loss) and blended them with CBT so you can easily embed mindful eating into your life).

So why not give Eatiful’s mindful eating principles a try and see how they can transform your approach to weight loss?

Katie Lips - Eatiful Founder
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