A Guide to Mindful Eating for Weight Loss
After weight loss surgery, how you eat is just as important as what you eat. Practice these tips to begin eating mindfully.
One of the amazing benefits of weight loss surgery is that it impacts both your mind and body, which is why the procedure tends to be more effective than diet and lifestyle changes alone. By making the life-changing decision to combat obesity, you can increase your confidence and reduce your risk of heart disease at the same time. You’ll also rely less on type 2 diabetes medications as your mood and memory improve.
Mindful eating is an effective weight loss strategy that builds on bariatric surgery’s holistic benefits. Here’s everything you need to know about mindful eating for weight loss, and using the powerful mind-body connection to keep excess weight off for good.
The Importance of Mindful Eating Post-Surgery
Many of us eat beyond the point of nourishment because we’re simply not paying attention. Mindful eating teaches you how to slow down, savor your food, and listen to your body.
Mindful eating is important after bariatric surgery because you may have to unlearn some unhealthy eating habits you developed in the past. By shifting your thinking from “what can’t I eat for dinner?” to “what do I get to enjoy for dinner?” after weight loss surgery, you associate eating with holistic health. Changing your ideas about food and your body is key to sustaining weight loss for years to come.
Five Tips for Mindful Eating
After you’ve mastered choosing what to eat after weight loss surgery, it’s time to get started on eating mindfully. This approach helps build on and maintain the amazing results you’ll get after bariatric surgery.
Practice these tips at each meal:
Check-in with Your Feelings First
Mindful eating begins with being mindful of your feelings. Are you hungry or just bored, anxious, or lonely? Practice eating when your body feels legitimately hungry and not when you’re experiencing other emotions. To combat emotional eating, repurpose that energy in a constructive way — take a walk, make a cup of hot tea, or work on a hobby that redirects your focus.
Appreciate Your Food
One of the most important tenets of mindful eating is thinking about food as a celebration, not an obligation. As you slowly chew, notice the different flavors, textures, and smells in each bite. Take a moment to be thankful for the fresh fruits and vegetables that are going to nourish your body today.
Don’t Eat on the Run
When you have a busy schedule and the stressors start to pile up, it’s tempting to grab whatever you can eat the fastest and scarf it down. Yet it’s important to set aside time to eat and only eat, especially at breakfast. Also, avoid distractions like your phone or the television when you’re eating. Each meal is a ritual — eat, relax, and treat your body to some delicious food before moving on.
Did you know you’re more likely to snack when you’re dehydrated, especially on salty foods? Drinking water regularly curbs those cravings and helps you feel more full when you eat, which prevents overeating. Aim to drink 64 ounces of water each day, and try to have a tall glass of water with each snack or meal.
Combat Cravings the Healthy Way
No one’s immune to cravings — the key is to satisfy them with healthy alternatives. If you want something a little sweet after dinner, have some strawberries or Greek yogurt with cinnamon and nutmeg sprinkled on top. Craving something salty or savory? Vegetables with spicy hummus should do the trick.
At Long Island Laparoscopic Doctors, we want you to enjoy a happier, healthier lifestyle. If you’re interested in learning more about bariatric surgery, contact us today. Our weight loss experts will walk you through the different procedures we offer, help you choose the weight loss option that’s right for you, and support you every step of the way.