The Easiest Way to Lose Weight and Keep It Off – Zen and Mindful Eating
Mindful eating is a method to control your eating habit based on mindfulness and helps you stay healthy, lose weight and keep it off. Mindfulness is a form of meditation that originated from Japanese Zen and is often described as the body condition filled with the mind. The article dives into the topic from Zen aspects and introduces simple steps to start it.
History of Mindful Eating
Mindful eating is a diet method based on mindfulness. It is recently attracting people all over the world for its ability to lose weight and keep it off easily. Also known as "eating meditation," it allows you to focus your mind on eating and the food you are taking which, as a result, bring a variety of benefits including stress relief and work efficiency improvement.
Japanese Zen, which is originated from the Buddhist philosophy, means "to calm the mind and not to be upset." Mindfulness is one of the practices derived from Zen and is a form of meditation developed in Western countries. Often described as "the body condition filled with mind," it is widely adopted in medical, educational, and business fields as a stress management method. By closing your eyes and breathing deeply, you can become fully present and aware of your physical and emotional state. It is also called "mind exercise" as it aims to improve self-control ability by focusing on settling the mind to where the body belongs and enjoying the present moment.
The Importance of Using the Five Senses
In the modern world, we are used to getting distracted by TV and cell phones during our meals. When we are busy at work, many of us just bite into a sandwich while staring at the computer to fill our stomachs. Such "eating while…" leads to overeating and cravings for sweets, as you no longer feel satisfied with your food. The euphoria of taking food is also diminished, which can cause an unfulfillment feeling and daily emptiness.
Food should be savored with all five basic senses of the human body. In the old days when food was precious, we all did it so naturally. Mindful eating reminds us of a sense of well-being with less and appreciation for food, that we used to have in these old days.
5 Benefits of Mindful Eating
In mindful eating, you use all five basic senses to eat. Enjoy your meal with sights and smells. Chew and savor each bite well so that you get a full euphoria over what you are taking. Mindful eating does not require a large meal as it maximizes your satisfaction with fewer foods than you usually take which, as a result, prevents overeating and excess of calorie intake. Besides, as you continue, your taste buds become more sensitive and you start to avoid strong-flavored foods and junk food which are usually higher in calories.
Improved eating habits alleviates stress. If you are always busy and messed up in your head, forget about all the work during mealtime. Making the distinctive switch between work and meals improves your work efficiency and relieve stress.
7 Steps for Mindful Eating Practice
Step 1. Locate yourself in a dining environment.
Avoid eating at your work desk or on the couch and always sit at the dining table. The dining table should be kept clean with no distractions such as papers and magazines.
Step 2. Turn off all information devices and get away from the phone.
Don't look at the TV or your cell phone and just concentrate on your meal. Staring at your phone until right before your meal gets served is not conducive to mindful eating. Get away from external information and clear your mind. It is fine to have a conversation with your companions, but don't get too caught up in the chat. You may end up neglecting the meal.
Step 3. Enjoy the meal with the five senses.
After the meal is served in front of you, take a good look at it, and observe it visually first. Then, smell it carefully to enjoy its aroma. You don't have to spend a long time on it. 10-20 seconds will be enough to send your brain the command "I am going to eat something that looks great."
Step 4. Take a few minutes for appreciation.
Take a few minutes to appreciate the food before start eating. Be respectful of all the plants, animals, and people involved in that meal. Being grateful and striving to feel happy will help your body and mind to receive the nutrition more smoothly.
Step 5. Chew well.
Chew your meals well, one bite at a time. This stimulates the satiety center and satisfies you with smaller amounts of food. After taking a bite in your mouth, roll it around on your tongue, and feel the texture.
Step 6. Feeling the deliciousness.
If you concentrate on what you are eating, you will become much more sensitive to the taste of your food. Enjoy the different tastes of each piece of your meal, such as sweet or bitter, soft or crunchy.
Step 7. Once you get a full stomach, finish the meal.
In mindful eating, it is important to observe not only your diet but also your physical condition. As you get used to it, you begin to feel changes in the way your body acts while you eat. Finish your meal when you feel full. You will find a reduction in the amount of food you take until you become satisfied.
Apply Mindful Eating at Dessert Time!
Sweets are the worst enemy for weight loss! We all know, but sometimes we cannot help craving it, can we? Dessert time is another perfect moment to apply mindful eating. Follow the same steps and concentrate on the sweet treat in front of you, savor it, and you'll be more satisfied with a smaller portion.
We Are What We Eat
We are made up of what we eat. What we eat is an essential factor that not only affects our health and beauty but also has a great impact on our state of mind. By adopting mindful eating, you can reevaluate the quantity and quality of your diet without painful restrictions. As you continue, it blends into your lifestyle and you begin to lose weight and keep it off gradually. Eating correctly can be more important to weight loss than exercise. Give it a try right away for a stress-free weight loss experience.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Thank you for reading the article! The author Chi-Chi is a former female Karate champion and now a happy-life explorer who loves learning about diet, health, exercise, and weight management. She shares useful tips in her articles to improve the quality of life :D
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