Eating mindfully to lose weight... - Weight Loss Support

Weight Loss Support

109,653 members57,618 posts

Eating mindfully to lose weight...

Hidden
Hidden

Hello, I'd like to ask what are your views on mindful eating? Have you ever practiced it for weight loss or just general well-being? Does it work for you?

I have practiced it for 3 years now and lost 8 inches off my waist over the course. I believe it has benefited me because it has basically tackled the problem as to why I was obese in the first place - once I started eating, I couldn't stop. I'm not saying it will work for everyone, but with enough practice, I was able to eat much less and feel genuinely full rather than shovel food down my throat like an automatic machine, barely tasting anything and missing that 'full' signal. For most of my life, I was a very fast eater and it was constantly adding inches to my waist.

BUT... I hate to say this but the reason I was a fast eater is because I don't truly enjoy my food unless I'm shoving in massive portions in my mouth like I haven't eaten for a week! That may sound ridiculous to some people but I swear it is 100% true! I'm not an expert on this subject, I don't know why this is the case but all I can tell you is that despite the mindful eating actually working and allowing me to feel full, I didn't enjoy eating the food as much as I do when I'm shoving it in my mouth like there's no tomorrow.

But I did enjoy the food enough for me to continue the mindful eating and it was such a simple solution to feeling full on less food. So if you're like me, don't think it's the answer to all your problems! Being able to continue this practice for 3 years was a lot down to determination and will power (I don't think you can lose weight without these two qualities). I continue this practice because for me personally, it is a manageable way of being able to keep weight off. I will have the odd day when I go off the rails but will be straight back onto it the next day.

My main question in this post is to ask if any of you have had the same problem? You only enjoy food when you eat fast.. people tell you to slow down but you continue to shovel it in because it's the only way to get that 'hit'. Why is this happening to me? Is it my taste buds... are they not sensitive enough? All my friends are slim and they are all slow eaters, one of them says it's because he 'tastes really well' which was quite interesting to hear.

Sorry for the essay but I feel I have a lot to say on this topic! Hoping to hear your views.

17 Replies

What an interesting topic! I do attribute my change in attitude to a mindfulness course I did last summer. We each had a raisin and we looked at it, felt it, sniffed it, before slowly putting it into our mouths to eat it, savouring the flavour and appreciating the amount of work it took to get this humble raisin from the vineyards in California to a meeting room in the UK.

Reading more about mindfulness in general, a comment about how every day we shove meat into our mouths not appreciating that a sentient being suffered or died in order to make the mcnugget or whatever and my relationship with food began to change there and then. As I thought more and more about where our food comes from, I began to do some research and discovered more about the modern food industry than I really wanted to know! So much has changed in the last 30 years and for the animals, not for the better. For McDonalds and his friends, it is marvellous :(

Sorry, I don't want to be a vegan nutter and ramble too much about the subject, but suffice it to say, I am very mindful of where our food comes from and now appreciate everything that I put into my mouth.

Well done for doing this for three years, you have encouraged me to continue for the rest of my life!

Hidden
Hidden in reply to LessToLose

Hi, thanks for your reply. I have tried to appreciate it too and it can be scary to discover the hidden truths! Glad I can be a good influence!

Concerned
ConcernedAmbassador

I find most real food satisfying without having to over-think it or eat at a snail's pace, whereas some foods like sweets I found hard to stop once I started

Hidden
Hidden in reply to Concerned

I know what you mean. Even though this method works for me, I still avoid eating certain foods where I love the food so much, I cannot trust myself to stop when full because it tastes so good. Pizza is my weakness. I will only have it when I'm having a day off!

Concerned
ConcernedAmbassador in reply to Hidden

With me, I don't think it did taste so good, it's just my hormones took over and I needed to keep eating.

Now I fry rice for instance, because even eating small amounts of basmati otherwise leaves me having munchies within a short time, whereas most of the time I rarely feel hungry.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to Concerned

It might be one of those foods that just doesn't provide satiety or like you say, your hormones. It's like the difference between me eating porridge or corn flakes for breakfast. Porridge will keep me going all morning, corn flakes will last about 1 hour.

sueper
sueper5 stone

Hi,

I definitely can relate to this. I posted a while ago that when I get stressed in work I just want to eat loads and it is definitely quantity over quality. Frustrating when I had been doing so well for months.

I am definitely more aware of what I eat and whilst I don't count calories I consider myself to be calorie aware.

Having read what you and LotToLose have said I will definitely try to be more mindful from now on.

Well done on practicing this new way of eating for the last 3 years :)

Hidden
Hidden in reply to sueper

Hi, I understand where you are coming from. Sounds like there may be a bit of emotional eating in there too. But I find then when I feel genuinely full, I am less likely to continue anyway.. hope it works for you!

Concerned
ConcernedAmbassador in reply to sueper

That might be because stress hormones raise blood glucose levels too sueper, which raises insulin and is then followed by a slump, driving hunger.

Hi Georgeroy,

Welcome to the forum. You have written an extremely interesting post, and I think that Mindfulness does have lots of scope in so many areas of life. I have been on some courses on it in the past, and I have used it in my own life - in terms of focusing more on enjoying various activities, including walking, enjoying scenery, doing Art, and I did once spend a weekend on a Mindfulness 'retreat' where we participated in eating a meal 'mindfully' - it did definitely focus my mind on thinking about where the food comes from, it's journey to the plate, the taste, texture, colour, so many things, and your mentioning of the process of Mindfulness relating to eating is definitely something I will try to focus on a bit more over the next few days. Thanks for the thought-provoking post. :-)

In terms of eating quickly, I think I probably do eat relatively quickly, and could do with slowing down. So I will also focus on that too.

I do however eat my one square of dark nutty chocolate per day very 'mindfully' - i.e. slowly and so that I really savour every part of it. I always have a piece of chocolate with a cup of coffee after my evening meal, and savouring it slowly really helps me enjoy it so much more, and I positively look forward to that experience.

Georgeroy, you've obviously done well on your weight loss journey to date, so Congratulations. I hope you'll enjoy being part of this forum. It's a friendly and supportive place, and there are lots of things going on in here. Please do have a look at the Pinned posts - as there's a Welcome Newbie post (collated by Moreless, who is a lovely member of the forum), and it's worth a read if you want to see some of the things that people have mentioned about the forum.

Wishing you a great week!

Lowcal :-)

Hidden
Hidden in reply to Zest

Hi Lowcal,

Thanks for your reply! I've heard of the many aspects of life you can apply mindfulness to and it's a really interesting topic so thought I'd give it a mention on here. I hope joining this site is the start of something good and will certainly look at the posts you suggested :)

The eating fast thing never applied to me, ( I always had a great deal of pain if I ate more than a small portion) but it did my hubby. He now eats slowly because its a fact that it takes 20 minutes for our tummy to let our brain know its full. Eat fast and you naturally over eat by 20 minutes and feel stuffed.

So in a way being mindful is about thinking about your tummy filling up, about the start of the digestive process by chewing your food properly (understanding the physical function and sensation) and giving it time to let your brain know.

Even as a child I was always taught to seek out the why an how, learn all you can :)

Hidden
Hidden in reply to TheHud

It makes sense because when I was eating fast, I simply did not know when to stop! I used to go to the shop on my lunch break and buy literally 3 sandwiches because 1 didn't fill me up. I guess I will never know why naturally eat fast but at least changing my approach will help me stay slim :)

Yep. Whatever I'm eating I'm shoveling it in, and enjoying more than taking my time. If I eat crisps I'll take a handfull and have my hand back in the bag whilst still chewing.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to RodeoJoe

I'm exactly the same! I just can't understand how some people enjoy their food more when eating slow!

I used to eat so slowly that when I went to college, it used to take me 2 sittings to finish a meal. Met more people that way! But the pressure of life, soon taught me to eat much faster. And the weight piled on! I am now trying to get back to where I was originally, taking forever to finish a meal. Some of the tricks I use, include cutting foods into small pieces and then eating them one at a time. I often eat with chop sticks, soupy fishy noodles are a real challenge! When I have the munchies I either chop up 3 pieces of fresh fruit or open and drain a can. I eat it with a toothpick, the corn on the cob holder, or a tiny fork which came with a fondue set. It takes ages and usually helps me sit out my temptation. I am now a real fan of eating as slowly as I can. My next task is not to eat in front of the TV. That will be a perpetual challenge for me. But it has to be done! Thanks for a great thread. Really interesting to reflect on.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to Venusflytrap

Hi,thanks for the reply. Did you find you enjoyed the food more when you were eating slower? I think our society gets worse in terms of rushing things. I see people at the train station running for a train whilst eating a pasty and holding a coffee. People eat on the go too much and I believe it is important to sit down and enjoy a proper meal!

You may also like...