You probably know by now that the key to a successful medical weight loss plan is to simply burn more calories than you consume, but it’s that “consuming” part that can be so tricky! Between busy schedules, numerous distractions, and various emotional factors, sticking to a lower calorie diet isn’t easy.
Therefore, it’s important to learn how to be mindful of each bite. When we’re paying attention to our meals, our body’s cues, and our emotions, we’re less likely to overeat. These four tips can help you to eat more mindfully.
Reduce distractions. Turn off the TV and set aside your smartphone. Many people overeat when they’re distracted, so paying attention to your meals can actually prevent you from eating more than you intended.
Stop to rate your hunger. Before you dive into a meal, first rate your hunger on a scale from 1 to 10. Try not to wait until you’re at a 1 (ravenous) to begin a meal, because you’re more likely to overeat. Eating when you’re a 2 or 3 is usually better. You also want to stop before you hit a 10 (completely stuffed), because it takes time for your brain to signal satiety after your stomach is full. Stop when you’re at a 6 or 7 (comfortable, but not hungry and not stuffed).
Schedule your meals. Set an alarm on your phone that reminds you to eat scheduled meals and snacks every few hours. If the alarm goes off and you’re not hungry yet, that might be a sign that you ate too much at the last meal. Practicing this habit for a few weeks can teach you scheduling and portion control.
Eat balanced meals. Remember to base your meals on a mix of protein, healthy fats, and fiber. These nutrients are the most satisfying, and help you to feel more full.
Mindful eating is half of the battle, but you still need to know how to balance your nutrients and determine a target number of calories for each day. To discuss that aspect of a medical weight loss plan, call our office to schedule a personal appointment.