What is mindful eating?
Part of successful long term weight management is minimizing deprivation and eating foods that you enjoy on a regular basis. Deprivation or avoidance may work in the short-term, but usually leads to feeling out of control, self-criticism, and eating more.
It is helpful to adopt a more healthy and balanced approach to eating. This involves mindful eating: planning ahead and looking forward to eating special foods, rather than engaging in the deprivation/guilt cycle. If you truly enjoy the food, you’ll be more satisfied and are less likely to want excessive portions.
Tips for adding favorites to your meal plan:
✔ Plan ahead. Set a specific place and time to fit the food into your daily and weekly plan. This will allow you to look forward to your favorite food.
✔ Eat the food with others. There is no reason to hide or be ashamed. Eating with others will help you reinforce a more positive perspective on eating.
✔ Purchase the food in small quantities. Limiting your exposure to the sight and smell of enticing foods will
decrease the chances of overeating.
✔ Expect to want more. Old habits are hard to break. Our desire for more is based on the belief that you shouldn’t be having this, so you better eat it while you can. Remember, you can plan to have your favorite food occasionally.
✔ Savor the moment and eat slowly. If you are particularly hungry, you are likely to eat quickly and not enjoy the taste the food completely. Your goal is to fully enjoy the food you eat. Eat slowly, savor each mouthful, and enjoy the moment.
Here is a quick guide to supporting your daily eating choices:
What foods do you want to include in your eating plan?
What are the automatic thoughts that make you feel you can’t control or shouldn’t eat this food? _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________
How can you change the automatic thoughts about this food to a positive thought?
_____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________
Now describe the steps you will take to enjoy and control your eating experience…..
What is the amount of the food that you will eat? ___________________________________
How many calories is this amount? __________________ Calories
Will you need to adjust your daily or weekly intake to allow for the extra calories? Yes or No
If yes, how will you do it? ______________________________________________
Where and when do you plan to eat this food?
What serving size do you plan to have?