How Mindful Eating Will Change Your Relationship with Food

The US Department of Agriculture reported in 2011 that every American spends about 2 ½ hours per day eating, and more than half of this time they’re doing something else at the same time. Whether you’re watching television, working on the computer, or taking bites between paying the bills, this distracted eating can lead you to eat more -- and taste less.

Mindless eating can also strike in the form of emotional eating. You may have urges for unhealthy foods and destructive binges because of emotional and psychological triggers. You don’t eat just because you’re hungry or your body needs specific nutrients. Instead, you eat to entertain yourself, distract yourself, or tamp down unpleasant feelings.

At Marin Weight Loss & Wellness, we want to help you become more mindful about what and when you eat. Becoming more mindful changes your relationship with food. Your meals and snacks become a source of joy and nourishment, rather than a point of regret and shame. Plus, with mindful eating you can learn how to tap into hunger cues -- and most importantly, stop eating when you’re full. This can stem the overeating and binging that leads to weight gain.

What triggers mindless eating?

Mindless eating can be a learned trait -- something you’ve done since childhood. You may also become mindless about your food in the face of stress or anxiety. Sleep deprivation, depression, and a wounded self-esteem can also make you turn to food and use it to help you feel better, rather than as something to nourish your body.

How mindful eating can change you

Mindful eating means you are in touch with the present moment when you consume your food. You notice any feelings that surround your food choices, acknowledge bodily sensations, and notice your thoughts as you consume the food.

Mindful eating puts you back in charge of food. You become empowered around food because you feel in control of your choices and your ability to stop when full.

With mindful eating, you’ll be able to better tap into when you’re full and when you’re truly hungry. You’ll also notice when you’ve had enough of one food -- your taste is satisfied -- so you don’t have to keep eating. Mindful eating also helps you identify and combat cravings and cycles of emotional eating. You’ll learn your triggers so you can better handle them without reaching for a half gallon of ice cream.

When mindful eating sets in, you’ll find you eat less and naturally lose weight. Better eating habits also lead to greater energy and reduced risk of chronic diseases, such as diabetes.

What is the process of mindful eating?

At Marin Weight Loss & Wellness, you undergo one-on-one counseling sessions to explore your underlying emotional triggers that lead to mindless eating. You’ll learn techniques to identify stomach fullness and satiety and devise healthier ways to direct your emotional struggles.

You’ll learn how to taste your food, chew slowly, and enjoy each bite. In many ways, mindful eating can make you a connoisseur of food.

We offer a variety of weight loss and wellness programs to help you achieve a healthier body size and image. We’d love to discuss our mindful eating program and explain how it can be combined with other weight loss strategies to help you achieve your physique goals. To set up a consultation, call one of our offices in Greenbrae or Novato, California, or book online while you’re here on the website.

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