We are bombarded with new health information every day. Information about nutrition seems to change constantly – what we knew about nutrition a decade ago is very different from what we know today.
When it comes to health news, how can you determine what to believe and whom to trust?
Though digital media has improved our understanding of ‘healthy eating’, brands still rely on marketing gimmicks and myths, which lead us to believe destructive eating habits are in fact healthy.
Aside from nutrition myths, convenience, lifestyle choices, and stress also influence our eating habits.
Using this blog post, we will help you understand how to eat mindfully and achieve your weight loss goals #AtYourOwnPace despite all the health news, myths, and marketing gimmicks.
What is mindful eating?
In the past few hours, you probably ate something. You may not fully realize what you’ve eaten because, like many of us, we spend very little time eating, and more than half of our time is spent doing something else. Either we are working, travelling, driving, reading, watching our shows, or scrolling on our phones.
The result is mindless eating – a lack of awareness about what, when, and how much we consume.
When you eat mindfully, you are aware of what you are eating as well as how it will affect your physical well-being. Adapting the practice of mindful eating, however, may require more than a few changes in your eating habits.
How do you practice mindful eating?
Making better food choices is one of the ways to start your journey of mindful eating.
In general, the food we consume is highly processed and loaded with sugar, sodium, and saturated fat. Refined sugar and processed grains, for instance, spike and crash your blood sugar levels erratically, draining your energy or leading to long-term blood sugar issues along with weight gain. A moderate amount of sodium is needed by the body as an electrolyte. Many foods we eat today contain excessive sodium, which in the long run leads to lifestyle diseases such as hypertension.
We don’t eat enough vegetables, proteins, and fruits in our daily food plans. Our daily meals have a significant impact on our health and weight, but we are unaware of this. Our meals are usually prepared by someone at home (so we eat what’s being made), or we order food from outside based on what we feel like eating. One of the main reasons we consume processed foods is because it’s convenient.
When you barely have time to get ready, you’re likely to make a mad dash out the door before you even think about breakfast. Sadly, this is how many people’s lifestyles work, so they grab the most convenient snacks and meals instead of the healthiest.
Tips for mindful eating
1. Make a meal and snack plan in advance. Make a list of healthy snacks to grab between meals if you are hungry. Keep them on hand at home and at work. You’ll be able to make better food choices by planning your meals for the week ahead of time and adding proteins and vegetables to them. You will be less likely to order outside food if you plan your meals ahead.
2. Include lots of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. There are so many nutrients in fruits and vegetables, including vitamins and minerals that are essential for the health of your gut, skin, hair, and organs.
3. Start tracking your meals. You do not need to maintain a food journey anymore. Now there are many food-logging / meal-logging apps that allow you to log your meals with voice. By logging your meals, you will realize what you are eating, how much you are eating and how nutritious your food is. Getting a visual of your food consumption will make you more aware of how to make better food choices.
4. Set a goal for yourself. For example, drink one healthy smoothie a day, or drink one glass of vegetable juice every day, and walk 30 minutes every day.
5. Reduce your sodium intake. Avoid processed foods such as chips, french fries, fried snacks, salted nuts, and similar items. Drink plenty of water to flush out the excess sodium from your body. Consume more vegetables, lean meats, fruits, and healthy fats instead of highly processed foods. Restaurants are notorious for adding large amounts of salt to dishes, so reduce eating out or ordering food.
6. It is estimated that we eat 600 to 800 more calories today than in the 1970s. Calories themselves are not always a problem; the source of the calories is more important. Replace your meals with healthier foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean protein to avoid exceeding your calorie intake. A person’s calorie requirement depends on their age, height, weight, and any health conditions they have. Our ignorance of this leads us to consume more calories than what we need by consuming foods that are readily available, such as cookies, fancy coffee drinks, ice cream, instant noodles, biscuits, fried snacks, and fast food.
Lose weight with mindful eating.
Most studies have shown that mindful eating helps you lose weight by changing your eating habits. Eating mindfully gives you a better understanding of how different foods affect your weight and health. By knowing this, you can make better food choices.
Mindful eating can lead to weight loss, but this should not be the only objective. Having a healthier body and reducing your risk of lifestyle diseases should be the purpose of mindful eating. Eating mindfully will also help you repair your relationship with food.
You should keep in mind that weight loss is not just about physical fitness. Establishing a healthy relationship with food and losing body fat is important, as well as maintaining a healthy weight.