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Mindful Eating vs Mindless Eating!

Have you ever been in a situation where you thought your diet was going well and you hit your sessions in the gym yet you haven't seen any results?

Could you be mindlessly eating?

Mindless Eating = Eating on autopilot

With the easy access and availability of convenience food we as humans now make roughly 200 food decisions every day with most of these being made without us even being aware.

In other words, we are on autopilot. It is therefore no surprise that when you then go to check-in and see your progress on your health journey that you haven't got any results to show as you haven't been sticking to the diet as well as you thought!

There are a lot of factors that contribute to this mindless eating. We may reach for food when we are bored, tired, angry, sad etc. Sight and smells of food can also trigger mindless eating along with multitasking, i.e. eating at your desk at work, eating whilst checking your phone or watching tv. These distractions can often lead to a lot of people consuming more food that they need as they aren't mindful as to when they become full.

How do you know if your are mindlessly eating?

Mindless eating involves —

● Feeling hungry suddenly and requiring immediate satisfaction

● Eating in response to moods like stress or unhappiness, and craving for comfort foods

● Wanting to eat even when you are full

● A feeling of guilt after eating

Mindful eating = Eating with Attention and Intention

This is therefore the complete opposite to mindless eating as we eat with attention and intention, listening to our bodies and eat when we are hungry and stop before we are full.

Mindful eating has been shown to promote weight loss by discouraging binge eating resulting in healthy changes in your lifestyle that makes you feel better.

How can you do this?

Mindful eating involves –

● Eating slowly

● Eating without distractions, such as T.V and mobile phones

● Eating when you are truly hungry

● Noticing colours, flavours, textures, and aroma of the food and its effect on your body.

● Appreciating your food.

Benefits of mindful eating:

  1. Helps aid weight loss. It improves self-control and can change incorrect eating behaviours (emotional eating etc), leading to weight loss.

  2. Reduces the urge to binge eat. Linking to self-control and therefore understanding when you are full vs mindlessly continuing to eat until youve eaten it all.

  3. Helps stop unhealthy eating habits. Eat when you are hungry, not overeating, eating without distractions, and preventing emotional eating.

Also, it might be helpful to make some other changes to your lifestyle to reach your health and fitness goals, such as –

● Getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night.

● Exercise daily. You can also use a health and fitness app to monitor and track your physical activity.

● Switch FROM buying more processed food items and grains to buying more whole and natural food items.

● Switch FROM using large-sized plates TO using smaller plates for portion control.

Being mindful is something that requires constant attention and usually comes with practise and consistency. We have recently reset our eating habits as we found ourselves over indulging on food not because we needed it but because we were on autopilot mode and had gotten into habits that were impacting our health and performance in the gym! By reseting we made sure that we were consuming a lot more wholesome foods, less processed but also gave ourselves the flexibility to still include some of our favourite treats and meals so it wasn't restrictive! We wanted to appreciate the good food again instead of just mindlessly eating it all the time. Savouring it until the weekend or when we are both together in a non-distracted place made us appreciate the food, taste and texture to another level that made it worth all the more while!

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