The Principles of Mindful Eating
Diet and exercise are the cornerstones of a successful weight loss program, but they aren’t all that there is to it. If all you needed to do to get to your weight loss goal was make a few simple food changes and get out of bed and onto the treadmill a bit more often, then no one would have too much trouble with the process. Losing weight is just as much of a mental process as it is a physical one.
Reaching your weight loss goal requires a great deal of determination, focus, and mindfulness. Weight loss surgery is a wonderful tool that makes it a lot easier to overcome barriers and lose a significant amount of weight, helping you to achieve a healthier lifestyle along the way. But to reach your goal you need to change the way you think in addition to the way that you act.
What is Mindfulness? Mindfulness is living as much as possible by the following principles:
- Pay attention to what is going on around you deliberately, and without distraction.
- When making a decision consider at all times environmental concerns vs. internal thought processes.
- Do your best to remain focused on balance, choice, wisdom and acceptance in all things, as often as possible.
Try adapting healthy mindfulness strategies before you even undergo weight loss surgery to help ease yourself into a healthier transition. Think more about what you need in a given moment and what foods your body craves rather than what your mind wants. Mindless snacking, emotional eating and procrastination are too often the downfalls of what would be an otherwise successful weight loss program.
Here are a few strategies to help improve mindfulness after weight loss surgery:
- Keep a food journal and make note of everything that you choose to eat.
- Keep track of your exercise routine and create challenges and goals for yourself to meet.
- Talk to a friend, support group, or at least your weight loss doctor about your progress and ask them to hold you accountable.
Sometimes, losing weight is as much about the way you think about diet and weight loss as it is about your actual habits and behaviors. Becoming a more mindful eater can help you along your weight loss journey by helping to reduce daily calorie intake without even influencing hunger levels. Try being more deliberate in the choices you make regarding food and exercise as you try to lose weight after bariatric surgery.