When considering weight loss surgery or after having weight loss surgery at Houston Weight Loss, it is important to identify your current eating patterns. A common eating pattern that leads to weight gain is chronic overeating. Overeating is considered to be a leading cause of weight gain. In order to reduce the incidence of overeating, it is important to eat mindfully.

What is mindful eating? Mindful eating is paying attention to an eating experience with all of our senses (seeing, tasting, hearing, smelling, feeling); witnessing the emotional and physical responses that take place before, during and after the eating experience. Basically, mindful eating is essential for weight loss and keeping weight off.

Here are 5 tips to help you get started with mindful eating:

  1. Identify your hunger

Use a hunger scale to identify your level of hunger. Additionally, reflect on your hunger. When looking at a hunger scale, try to eat when your hunger is at a 5-7. Do not wait until your hunger is an 8-10 to eat – this can lead to overeating! Lastly, try to identify if your hunger is actually hunger. Sometimes, dehydration can feel like hunger.  Identifying hunger cues are very important when trying to reach your weight loss goals.

  1. Take out distractions

When you are about to consume a meal, make sure you are in an environment where you can sit down and focus on the meal in front of you. Eating on-the-go or in a distracting environment (like at your desk) can inhibit your ability to eat mindfully and, therefore, inhibit your weight loss! By taking out distractions while eating, you will be able to be more aware of your fullness ques and avoid overeating.

  1. Take breaks

During mealtime, take breaks to allow time for your brain to talk to your stomach about how full you are feeling. You can accomplish this by setting your fork down in between bites and taking a 3-5-minute break from eating after you finish half of your meal.

  1. Eat Slowly

Give yourself 30 minutes to consume a meal. Eating fast often leads to overeating, which as we know inhibits our weight loss goals. By slowing down, you allow yourself to really taste and enjoy the food on your plate. Another way you can slow down is by chewing each bite at least 20 times. The slower you eat, the less likely you will be to overeat.

  1. Identify your feelings

Take a moment to give thanks and be grateful for the food you have in front of you. Try to reflect on the food you consumed and identify how it made your body feel. Often times high fat, high carbohydrate, overly-processed food items will make you feel more lethargic and bloated. When you are mindful about the foods you choose to eat, you are more likely to attain your weight loss goals.

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