Mindful eating is a method in which you get control over what you eat. Based on a Buddhist concept called mindfulness, this technique can help you stop binge eating, promote weight loss, and make you feel better. [1]

Mindfulness is a kind of meditation that helps bring your attention to experiences occurring in the present moment. In this way, you will be able to cope with your physical sensation and emotion. [2, 3]

Mindful eating uses this concept to help you reach a state where you have full attention to your cravings, experiences, and physical cues when eating. [4]

The food choice of mindful eating is quite similar to the Mediterranean diet — focused on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, vegetable oils, etc. What makes them different is their techniques of eating.

Continue reading to learn why and how you should practice mindful eating.


Mindful Eating: Why Should You Try It?

Today, people are blessed with numerous food choices. These abundances of foods, along with distractions such as television, smartphones, and computers, have shifted the attention away from the proper act of eating.

It takes your brain up to 20 minutes to realize that you’re full, meaning that if you eat quickly, your brain may not get the signal until you’ve consumed too much. This practice is quite common in binge eating and is extremely unhealthy. [5]

Binge eating can lead to some severe health problems such as obesity and heart problems as it involves consuming a large amount of foods in a short time. [6, 7, 8, 9]

Mindful eating lets you control the portions of the food, thus helps to decrease the frequency and severity of binge eating episodes. [10, 11]

A research published in the Journal of Health Psychology shows that binge eating episodes reduced from 4 to 1.5 time per week after a six-week long group intervention in obese women. [12]

The research also shows a significant reduction in the severity of this eating habit. [12]

Apart from binge eating, there are some other unhealthy eating habits that can be harmful to your health, such as emotional eating and external eating. [13, 14]

By adopting a mindful eating technique, you will be in charge of your responses towards foods while eating.

Can Mindful Eating Help You Lose Weight?

Mindful eating can be one of the best options when it comes to losing weight in a healthy way. 

Binge eating, emotional eating, and external eating can cause weight gain, as well as regain after a successful weight loss. [15, 16, 17]

You may also end up with overeating and unhealthy eating habit if you’re stressed for a long period. [18, 19]

While crash diet can help you lose weight, there’s a possibility that you will regain the weight within a few years after you stopped following that. [20]

Mindful eating can change your eating pattern into a more controlled way, thus helps to lose weight. [21]

A 2012 pilot study shows that following mindful eating resulted in an average weight loss of 26 pounds, without regaining the weight. [22]

It works by addressing your eating behaviors, which increases the success rate of long-term weight loss.


Ways to Practice Mindful Eating

Practicing mindfulness requires a lot of meditations and exercises. You can also learn a lot about mindful eating by attending a seminar, doing online courses, and workshops. [23]

However, if you want to start practice this eating technique, these simple yet effective ways may help you:

  • Do not rush and eat slowly.
  • Switch off your smartphone, television, laptop, and other devices that can be a distraction while you’re eating.
  • Eat silently.
  • Thoroughly chew the food.
  • Eat only when your body tells that you’re hungry.
  • Concentrate on your eating and try to understand how it makes you feel. You can choose one meal per day to focus on this point, and eventually implement these habits into more meals.
  • Stop eating the food when you’re full.
  • Eat foods that are nutritiously healthy.

The Takeaway

Traditional diets may help you lose weight, but they might not be a long-term solution. Emotional breakdown, stress, anxiety may lead to binge eating, uncontrolled eating habits.

On the other hand, mindful eating can act as a powerful tool to regain control over your eating habit. You can give it a try if the conventional method isn’t working for you.

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