What Does it Mean to be a Mindful Eater?
After having weight loss surgery, you will be expected to keep up with a healthier lifestyle by making significant changes to your diet and exercise habits. The bariatric procedure will do a great deal to support your weight loss efforts, but without dietary and exercise changes you are not going to see the same results that you are hoping for. This is why so many health experts look at weight loss surgery as an ideal component in a more comprehensive weight loss program. The good news is that your weight loss surgeon can play a role in that weight loss program and can give you great advice on what to eat, what sort of exercise to try, and answer any other questions that you may have.
What is Mindful Eating?
Mindful eating is one of those tips that many health advocates throw out there without a lot of explanation. This isn’t a dietary strategy, but instead this is a mental strategy. Rather than being another diet program that will limit what you eat based on seemingly arbitrary rules, mindful eating is a thinking strategy that helps you to become more aware of what you are already eating so that you can make more appropriate choices based on your dietary needs.
Mindful eating begins with quite simply paying more attention to what you are doing in any given moment, and only eating when you are truly hungry, when you have something healthy to eat, and when the decision to eat is a pre-meditated one based on hunger and your meal schedule, and not on social or emotional pressure.
This is what mindful eating looks like in practice:
- Mindful eaters become aware of the positive and nurturing opportunities through cooking and engaging with healthy food choices by becoming more involved in the food-prep process.
- Mindful eaters choose food that is both pleasing to your taste buds and nourishing to your body by finding meal choices that are appealing to all of the senses.
- Mindful eaters leave judgement out of food choices and acknowledge taste preferences as being something that everyone has, and something that can be managed and accommodated through healthy alternatives.
- Mindful eaters know the difference between physical hunger and peer pressure, and don’t give into eating unhealthy foods out of boredom, stress, or fatigue.
Weight loss surgery is an amazing tool that can help you lose weight without the constant interference of hunger. However, with hunger out of the way it only makes mindfulness more importance in controlling your food choices. Don’t make the mistake of eating out of stress or fatigue when you aren’t hungry! This can directly interfere with your weight loss hopes. Try finding a support network who you can work with to help you become a more mindful eater as you lose weight.