Simple and Effective, Mindfulness Can Boost Natural Weight Loss
Mindful eating. What is it, and how does it help natural weight loss? To understand that, it helps to first understand what mindfulness is. Simply put, mindfulness is the therapeutic technique of focusing on the present moment: clueing in on how you’re feeling physically and/or emotionally, and being more aware of your surroundings.
When it comes to eating and natural weight loss, mindfulness helps you taste the food more fully and be aware of how you feel during the act of eating. With a little practice, you learn to pick up the queues of your body that signal satiety and fullness.
The nutritional counselors at the National Stem Cell Institute (NSI), one the United States’ leading regenerative medicine clinics, believe in promoting natural weight loss whenever possible. Even when medical intervention is necessary for achieving a healthy weight, using mindfulness in partnership with weight management is a valuable tool in reducing cravings, emotional eating, and need for medication.
Mindfulness in eating offers both short term and long term tools in hitting weight goals, whether the need is to gain or lose weight.
Mindful eating is not a “diet.” Actually, it is quite the opposite! Using mindfulness as a natural weight loss tool literally changes your relationship with food. It changes the way you eat and puts both short term and long term control back in your hands rather than leaving you at the mercy of social and emotional triggers, and cravings. Portion control becomes much more effortless as you become better attuned to the signals of your body.
As with all healthy habits, mindful eating is not a quick fix. Think of developing mindfulness the way you think of physical exercise. You don’t expect to drop 10 pounds and strengthen muscles in a single workout. So, too, you won’t go from no control over your cravings and triggers to total control after mindfully eating a single meal.
But it can be said that beginning with the very first time you practice mindfulness with food, you will become aware of tastes and the physical sensations of the act of eating that you likely never noticed before.
Mindfulness in Eating Doesn’t Mean Deprivation
Virtually all Americans have resorted to unhealthy ways to lose weight by the time they’ve reached their 30’s. Deprivation in one form or another is among the most common of these. You try to go cold turkey on your favorite chips or use raw willpower to ignore the fact that the cookies you picked up “for the kids” are no farther away than the kitchen pantry. How’s that been working for you so far?
Eating mindfully doesn’t require deprivation or resistance to any type of food.
Though, at some point after practicing mindfulness, you will likely find that you just naturally prefer and reach for healthier options. Meanwhile, go ahead and grab the chips.
But as you put each one in your mouth, notice how the texture feels. How salty does it taste? How flavorful is it? Is the flavor more intense as you breathe in or out? At what point do you begin to sense your mind and body signaling satiety? How does it make you feel to eat the chip: happy, guilty, neutral? None of those emotions are wrong. They are simply indicators of why you might be moved to grab the chips. Sometimes (here’s a shocker!) you might grab for them just because you’re hungry!
Mindfulness will cause you to naturally slow down your pace of eating.
Mindfulness naturally affects how quickly you eat. One of the first things you’re likely to notice is that you aren’t just shoveling your meal in and swallowing as fast as possible. This slowing down, in turn, can help you to:
- Notice how your hunger changes throughout the meal
- Quite literally feel your stomach filling up
- Notice the difference between feeling full and feeling cravings
- Notice the full flavor and aroma of any given bite of food
As you become more practiced at mindfulness during eating, you’re also more likely to notice:
- Which foods trigger feelings like pleasure, anxiety, or guilt about eating them
- What foods trigger a sense of comfort, well being, or nostalgia
- What memories or impulses might surface according to the type of food you’re eating
More simply put, mindfulness helps you begin to notice the unconscious habits, emotions, and triggers that affect what you eat, when you eat, why you eat, and how much you eat.
The goal of using mindfulness as a natural weight loss tool is to return control of your eating habits back to you, rather than leaving it with unconscious patterns that have formed over the years.
When you take back control through mindfulness, the natural mental response is to feel happier and more confident.
The natural physical response is the cooling of cravings, more reliable sensations of true hunger, and a tendency to actually prefer healthier options.
5 Benefits of Eating Mindfully
- Improved Weight Management
Mindfulness while eating is not, of course, only about weight loss. But that’s what prompts many people to begin what can be a life-changing habit. The choice of the phrase “life-changing” is not used lightly here. Since over-eating and unhealthy food choices are so often symptoms of emotional, mental, or spiritual stresses, the act of mindful eating actually helps you cope with the things that set you up for diet failure.
When this happens, healthy and natural weight loss (or healthy weight gain, for that matter) is generally the result. It prompts a “virtuous cycle” of mindfulness, coping mechanism, and healthy weight control.
As the Center for Mindful Eating points out, when you become in tune with what your body and mind really need, stress-based or emotional eating fades. Eating habits naturally begin to improve. When this happens, weight generally takes care of itself: no doubt, one of everyone’s favorite side effects of mindfulness while eating!
- Food-related Stress is Reduced
Stress is one of the most common saboteurs of diet and fitness goals. Hardly anyone is immune to stress-related or emotional eating to one degree or another. We’re all human, after all, and eating is connected to so much more than simple survival.
Some of us are able to just naturally cope with the stresses that trigger unhealthy eating. But, for the rest of us, we need practical tools. Mindfulness practices of any credible kind can help profoundly.
Dan Harris, author of 10% Happier, for example, has done careful research into how just a few minutes of practical, daily mindfulness meditation can significantly reduce stress and its impact on life, work, and family. And guess what? Eating mindfully can indeed be a form of meditation!
- Eating Becomes More Satisfying & Enjoyable
Mindfulness while eating develops a keen awareness of your body signals and senses. It also enhances the pleasure you feel around foods, even as it increases your control over appetite and craving. When was the last time you experienced such an eating win-win during the holidays or a night out with friends? This may seem counterintuitive, but consider this:
Paying attention to food through mindfulness brings out the rich flavors of indulgences like ice cream or a velvety slice of cake. You’ll likely find your craving for treats is more satisfied, even before you’re half-way through it.
It also helps you realize when something you’re eating just isn’t as delicious as you thought it might be, and gives you the control to push it away instead of eating more just because “it’s there.” And it helps you stay in tune with the fact that you can always box up the rest for another time.
- Real Weight Management is Achieved without “Dieting.”
So, why is it that mindful eating is so effective for weight management? How can it work without deprivation, calorie counting, or food restrictions? The open secret of mindful eating’s effectiveness is that its primary purpose isn’t weight loss. The goal is to zero in on the signals of your body so you can better understand what it needs for health, well-being, and feeling good.
Healthy, natural weight loss (or, again, healthy weight gain) is simply a side effect of using mindfulness while eating. For all the reasons already stated above, mindfulness allows full communication between you and your body. Think of unmindful, distracted eating as your body’s voice being lost in the noise of your busy, busy brain that has not switched off its multi-tasking.
It is still thinking of what you need to do right after you finish eating, thinking of how you might have done things differently at work an hour before, thinking of what a failure you are because you didn’t reach your weight goal…and so on. Mindful eating works because your body already knows exactly what it needs for optimal health and weight management. Mindfulness helps your brain get out of your body’s way.
- Natural, Robust Prevention and/or Management of Disease & Eating Disorders
Studies like those published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition Dietetics have concluded that significant improvement in the quality of diet, healthy weight loss management, and better glycemic control in diabetic patients all occur when mindfulness-based eating is adopted.
The studies show that mindfulness acts much like a companion treatment for those diagnosed with diabetes. This is because those in the studies were about to better manage food consumption and blood glucose levels after learning the techniques of mindful eating.
Besides diabetes, mindfulness while eating has been shown to help other diseases and eating disorders such as:
- Binge eating
- Food addictions
These conditions highlight how mindful eating can directly affect some particular diseases and eating disorders. But there can be little doubt that developing mindfulness also helps lay a healthy nutritional base that can only be a benefit to the body in fighting off many types of illness. It is also key to managing the symptoms of various chronic health conditions.
Starting the Path to Mindful Eating
So, how can you get a start on practicing mindful eating? At mealtime, ask yourself questions like the following:
- Am I aware of how I’m eating? Am I just shoveling it in? Do I even look at my food/snack while I eat? For that matter, do I even taste it as I chew?
- What is my body saying? Is it sending me signals that the stomach is full? Does it seem “dissatisfied” and “craving” even as it sends me the full signals?
- When I reach for a treat, what triggers that reach? Do I honestly feel hungry? Or did the sumptuous smell of coffee trigger my donut habit? When I drive straight to the shake shop after work, how often do I do it because I feel especially stressed about something?
- What does hunger really feel like? Do I feel a dip in energy? Does my belly growl? Do I feel moody? Everyone experiences a unique combination of hunger signals.
- How do I tell the difference between hunger, craving, or just plain thirst? Thirst often masquerades as hunger, but the “pangs” disappear with proper hydration. Craving is a desire and focus on only one particular food item (chips, candy, pastry, etc.), and often comes on the heels of stress or upset. When you’re hungry, on the other hand, you’re usually open to many different options. Choices are made based on balancing true hunger with current food preferences.
- How distracted am I while I eat? Did I notice how delicious that last bite was, or was I instead thinking about everything that’s waiting for me back at the office or at home?
- Am I respecting my own right to a dedicated meal time, where I give myself permission to fully relax and enjoy my food?
Great Advice for Practicing Mindfulness During Eating is Online
There are many great sites online with more in-depth tips on practicing mindful eating. There are whole web-based communities that can teach you specific steps and offer support. Today’s most advanced medical clinics, such as though that specialize in regenerative medicine, frequently include mindful eating instruction in their nutritional counseling.
In fact, the inclusion of nutritional counseling departments are a hallmark of quality, well-rounded, legitimate therapeutic clinics such as regenerative medicine facilities.
Regenerative medicine clinics are commonly known as stem cell clinics, though they encompass much more. The National Stem Cell Institute (NSI) is one the United States’ leading stem cell clinics, and has tips to help interested persons make sure the clinic they are considering is fully licensed according to U.S. standards and is legitimate.
What to Look for in a Stem Cell Medical Clinic
When searching for a qualified stem cell therapy center it’s important to remember that not all of them are created equal. Stem cells, when used properly, are your body’s most powerful means for healing that can repair everything from ligaments, tendons, and cartilage to organs including your liver, pancreas and lungs and even neurological tissue like your brain, nerves, and spinal cord.
Unfortunately, the majority of so-called “regenerative medicine clinics” in the world aren’t trained in the latest, most technologically advanced procedures and will, therefore, provide poor results if any.
The good news is the National Stem Cell Institute (NSI) has established the most advanced stem cell and platelet rich plasma procedures on the planet which has drawn patients from all over the world as well as professional athletes and celebrities because they are recognized as the best in the world at stem cell therapy.
What makes NSI Stem Cell the top stem cell clinic in the world is demonstrated in 5 key areas:
1. Highly trained and experienced, board-certified doctors and team members who have performed stem cell procedures on thousands of patients with incredible results.
2. Cutting edge procedures utilizing all that regenerative medicine has to offer for many chronic degenerative conditions.
3. Leading scientific researchers who follow the advanced guidelines to maximize the healing potential of your stem cells and to maintain compliance and ethics
4. Use of only the most potent and viable resource of living, viable stem cells and harvested on the same day. No vial that you can purchase will contain living stem cells. If there is no harvest then there are no stem cells.
5. Post-operative guidance for supporting stem-cell growth including rehabilitation, diet and supplement protocols. NSI is a full-service healthcare center focused on patient outcomes. Stem cell therapy is only one tool used to help improve patients’ lives.
Patients have raved about their experience at NSI Stem Cell Clinics testifying that it was their unique cutting-edge procedures that helped them experience a breakthrough when nothing else worked.
If you want to learn more about NSI Stem Cell Clinics, you can set up a complimentary consultation today to see if you are a candidate. You can contact the National Stem Cell Institute at (877) 278-3623.
* Disclaimer: Individual patient results may vary. As each patient’s problem is different, each treatment must be tailored around your specific needs.