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Eat Mindfully… and Lose Weight!

LunchatComputerEat mindfully. This is something that might sound really easy in theory, but in reality it’s not so easy. Especially in today’s world, where we are constantly multi-tasking, plugged in and chronically over-scheduled… taking time out of your busy life just to eat may seem like an impossible task!

What if I told you that Mindful Eating could change the way that you experience food and help you lose weight as well?

Think about it… when you eat for emotional reasons (ahem) do you really enjoy what you’re eating? Are you even thinking about what you’re eating as you inhale that bag of chips, chocolate cake or pint of Ben & Jerry’s? It’s only afterward that you think about it (and feel like crap). Ugh… do you really want to continue that cycle?

How about when you eat lunch in front of the computer?

Are you thinking about the food that you’re eating? Or are you thinking about what you’re looking at on the computer?

Perhaps you’re relaxing by surfing the web… while you eat.

I would wager that you’re not paying any attention to what you’re eating. Not only are you not fully enjoying your food, you may also eat more than you intended to because you’re not paying any attention to how much you’re eating and whether your stomach is full or not.

Or maybe you’re working through lunch…

and your stomach is in knots because work is stressing you out. Eating under stress affects your digestion with indigestion as the result. Oh yea and not paying attention to how much you’re eating.

There’s a double whammy here.

Perhaps your food was portioned out, but because your mind didn’t register that you ate lunch, two hours later you’re hungry again and hitting the snack machines (oops).

How about when you eat dinner or snack in front of the TV?

Again, you’re not thinking about what you’re eating, how much you’re eating or whether you’re full. There is an even more insidious problem that develops when you eat in front of the TV – a habitual link is created between eating and watching TV. Which means that every time you watch TV, you have programmed yourself to eat.

If you watch commercials on TV, you will note that there are a lot of food commercials on TV – especially for snacks and processed food. Why do you think this is? They are capitalizing on the fact that you eat in front of the TV and purposefully making you think that you should run into the kitchen and grab a snack and EAT it right now, whether you’re hungry or not.

Try taking time out just to eat – how long does it take anyway?

Start by eating away from the computer and turning off the TV.  Sit down at the table, in a comfortable chair or even on the couch (with the TV turned off!). Really pay attention to the food on your plate and as you begin eating notice how it tastes, smells and feels in your mouth. Eat slowly and chew your food well. Put your fork down and catch a breath in-between bites. Enjoy the flavors and texture of the food that you’re eating. Take pleasure in the simple act of eating and the food on your plate.

Ask yourself
  • How does this food taste?
  • Does it taste good?
  • Is it satisfying?
  • Are you treating your body luxuriously by eating this food?
I invite you to try this with food that is “bad for you” too!

That’s right, the kind of food that you beat yourself up over after you eat it. This is the food that you’re most likely to crave when you’re not hungry and inhale when you eat it – with the end result of binge-eating and feelings of shame (let’s avoid that shall we?).

If you really sit with the candy bar, cookie, bag of chips… and taste it to its fullest two things can happen:

1. It tastes delicious but you enjoy every last mouthful of it and you’re satisfied with less or

2. You decide it doesn’t taste as good as you thought it did. You may notice that it tastes ‘too sweet’ or ‘too salty’. Or you suddenly notice the artificial flavors or the cardboard like texture of something that was once your favorite food in the whole world.

I want to challenge you to slow down while you’re eating…

Unplug, pay attention to your food as you eat it – really taste, smell and feel the food, chew your food well and remember to breathe.

When you practice Eat Mindfully, you’ll automatically begin eating less and making smarter food choices. Which will certainly keep you on the right track if you’re trying to lose weight :).

 

6 Responses to Eat Mindfully… and Lose Weight!

  1. You’re so right as usual. The more I become aware of my food, the more I realize “junky” foods actually don’t even taste edible at all! And nourishing foods have so much flavour, when using awareness we only really want a little bit of it. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Yum! I am guilty of eating while reading articles on the internet, but I do often focus on and savor my meals! The colors, the textures, the taste~a sensual experience. This is a good reminder to make a different choice in those moments when I am sitting down at my computer with my breakfast or lunch to multitask. Thank you, Liz!

  3. i love this Liz! I mostly practice this but then notice the magazine in my hand or texting message that just came in … then to Facebook…etc. Great reminders. Especially that we are not even registering what we are eating!! YIKES. I have done that enough. Thanks for your words!

  4. Love this, Liz! I try to keep in mind Geneen Roth’s rules about eating and just being with your food and with yourself as you do. It’s hard at first to switch gears but it makes the biggest difference in my day!

  5. I was just talking to a client about this very topic the other day. In fact, I talk to clients about this all the time, especially when working with people with digestive issues. These are all great points and great advice.

    I also like to take a moment of gratitude before I eat. If I’m dining alone, I just appreciate the meal before me, if I’m eating with people I thank them for their presence and the time we are spending together.

  6. I find this one of the hardest things to do but the most amazing thing to do when i do it and lately I’ve actually been working on this!!! It’s fascinating, actually. Twice I did it for a week and stopped biting my nails for 3 weeks! i also was eating less and less by the end of the week, it was miraculous! I truly want to commit to doing this at least once a day. Thanks so much for this awesome article!!

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Love Notes...
Nancy McLinskey, M.D.
Nancy McLinskey, M.D.
The food involved in this cleanse was so good and nourishing that after the 5 days were up, I found myself actually turned off of sugary treats and instead craving roasted root vegetables! Liz is very knowledgeable and was very supportive throughout the cleanse.
C. Coleman, Cambridge, MA
C. Coleman, Cambridge, MA

Liz Vequist is a true healer--insightful, caring, and committed to supporting wellbeing on physical, emotional, and spiritual levels. I feel fortunate that our paths have crossed.”

 
Adina Rose, MFT, East Bay California
Adina Rose, MFT, East Bay California
I am a busy mom of two and have been wanting to lose those extra few pounds for years now. On my own, I lacked the motivation to stick to a healthier eating plan for more than a few weeks. After completing Liz's 6-week plan I feel confident that I can maintain better eating habits as a lifestyle choice, in way that I have been wanting to for years. Not only did I loose 5 pounds in the six weeks, but I also lost 2 inches each from my hips and thighs; 1.5 inches from my waist! I learned new yummy recipes, and so much more. Thank you, Liz!  
Michael Kirk, Producer/Director/Writer
Michael Kirk, Producer/Director/Writer

In my busy, bicoastal life I work hard to find centers of calm. Liz Vequist's careful and sensitive work is one of those centers--restful and rejuvenating.

Clara M., Madrid, Spain
Clara M., Madrid, Spain
Liz is phenomenal! I love how close and warm she is while giving support. She has motivated and helped me change some of my unhealthy habits. I am getting great results and would be getting them for the rest of my life! I admire and respect you enormously, THANKS LIZ!
Helaine Unger, Early Special Educator
Helaine Unger, Early Special Educator
Doing this program with Liz has changed my relationship with food. I have fewer cravings, enjoy cooking more and have more energy. I lost weight and inches and feel so much better in my clothing. I have developed new habits and feel confident that they will continue.
Ryck L.
Ryck L.
Plagued by stiffness, chronic joint and back pain and other concerns, I first became a client of Liz Vequist over three years ago. While I've gotten older since then, I've also gotten better. Liz offers an intense, therapeutic shiatsu which has been very effective at reducing pain and stiffness while increasing flexibility. It works! Liz Vequist is now a key partner for my personal health and well-being.
Cora Poage, NY, NY
Cora Poage, NY, NY
Before I started working with Liz, I thought I was "healthy". Boy, was I in for a surprise.  With Liz's guidance I was able to "crowd out" most processed foods.  What a huge difference!  I eat more fruits and veggies than ever before and I notice a difference in my skin, my mood, and my body.  Liz also helped me face up to and conquer a major Diet Addiction and deal with a negative body image.  For the first time in my life, I truly love my body, AS IS! Thanks so much Liz! You truly changed my life for the better! 
Amy, Cape Cod, MA
Amy, Cape Cod, MA
I've never lost this much weight so easily and without feeling deprived or starved. Really! Plus I now have a whole new arsenal of food that keeps me full AND fit!
Katie Hazard, Project Manager, Burning Man, San Francisco
Katie Hazard, Project Manager, Burning Man, San Francisco
Wow, what an amazing program! I went from feeling sluggish & self-conscious to feeling healthy & ready to rock my bikini in just 6 weeks. Liz's knowledge and deep care really guided me through this process beautifully, and having the fantastic group support motivated me to eat well, move my body, and feel good about myself. Thank you!
Inez N., Brighton, MA
Inez N., Brighton, MA
Liz is my therapist. She's soft-spoken. But don't let that fool you because she has Ninja fingers! In 60 minutes, she bends and folds, twists and pulls at my comatose body. Shiatsu kind of feels like someone is putting me in yoga poses while simultaneously working my pressure points. The result, for me, is leaving "the shop" feeling loose and better aligned.
Jennifer Carey, Beverly, MA
Jennifer Carey, Beverly, MA
I worked with Liz for 6 months on a plan for me to have a healthy relationship with food and to make eating well and exercising an automatic habit in my life. The plan, the work and the outcome were all a success! Liz combined her knowledge of food, nutrition and holistic health with her genuine passion to help others make positive changes. This was all done in such an authentic fashion that I finished the program with the self-awareness and knowledge of food that I needed to be an intuitive eater with healthy habits. I'm cooking more, eating better and exercise is a routine that I don't think twice about incorporating.  I look and feel better.  I know that Liz's support, clear and applicable exercises and tools helped me make these changes and that these changes will be long lasting. I am and will be forever grateful to her. 
Loretta M., Watertown, MA
Loretta M., Watertown, MA
I have found Liz's work extremely beneficial and have improved my overall well-being since I have seen her. Liz is very knowledgeable on self-care and holistic health and practices it herself. She is very accommodating and trustworthy. Someone you can count on to find the imbalances and try to help alleviate them. From the moment you walk in her space it is calm, safe, and inviting to start the healing process. I can't say enough good things :)
Svetlana Howard
Svetlana Howard
The Slim, Fit and Sexy program with Liz gave me a huge jump on getting closer to my ideal body looks and weight. I have gain a certainty that I can get to my goal by sticking to the healthy lifestyle that I have learned on this program. I was very impressed with the group motivation, recipes, and well-structured weekly diet/tasks that was doable to follow even with my busy lifestyle. Thank you, Liz, for being such a passionate coach.

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Your Mind-Body Bliss Welcome Kit includes
$10 off Shiatsu & Yoga, Fun Videos, Tasty Recipes & more...
Your Information will never be shared with any third party.