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Mindful Eating

Last keep it healthy for life weight loss support group was a great success! We exercised for 15 minute with resistance bands and then our discussion turned to mindful eating techniques. Recently I was taking a course on bariatric surgery and was very happy to hear the recommendations to teaching these patients mindful eating techniques to implement into their daily lives.
The group uniformly reported that they feel that it is very difficult to think about food all the time and many report that they have an unhealthy relationship with food as well. We need to look at diets as not a short term goal but a long lasting way of life. In our current fast pace society it is very difficult to turn off our emotions and focus solely on our food and why we are eating. Mindful eating brings us back to the basics to refocus our attention on our food. By eating mindfully we can restore our attention and slow down, making an intentional act of eating rather than boredom or habit. Also, by increasing your recognition of physical hunger and fullness cues, you are more able to distinguish between emotional and actual physical hunger. In the end our goal is to increase our awareness of our triggers that make u want to eat, even though we are not necessarily hungry.
Mindful eating is being aware and paying attention to not only your food but what is going on around you as well. Mindfulness does not criticize or judge, which is an important aspect of practicing mindful eating. When practicing mindful eating we are paying attention to the colors, taste, texture, flavors and sounds of our food. Below are some times to help you practice mindful eating techniques.

Eating slowly and without distraction.
Listening to physical hunger cues and eating only until you’re full.
Distinguishing between actual hunger and non-hunger triggers for eating.
Engaging your senses by noticing colors, smells, sounds, textures and tastes.
Learning to cope with guilt and anxiety about food.
Eating to maintain overall health and well-being.
Noticing the effects food has on your feelings and figure.
Appreciating your food.

References
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mindful-eating-guide#section2
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/mindful-eating/200902/mindful-eating

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