What is mindful eating? Thoughtfully considering the food you have selected to eat and making a conscious decision if it is right for your weight loss goal. In this blog, we will explain why people overeat and provide you with mindful eating tips to help you succeed at your weight loss goals.

What causes you to eat? Do you eat when you are bored, overwhelmed, sad, stressed, or anxious? Do you eat because you are with friends? Are you actually hungry or just eating because. All of these are questions you should be asking yourself before you take the next drink or bite of food. Many people struggle with hunger cues, because in our society everything revolves around food. After weight loss surgery, you must be mindful of what you eat in order to reach your weight loss goals. The following blog will help you work through some of these issues.

OVEREATING TRIGGERS

What are some of the causes of overeating? *This may differ for everyone.

  • Emotional
  • Thoughts
  • Situational
  • Physical
  • Social

Emotional Overeating Triggers

ladyeatingEmotional triggers may include: boredom, stress, fatigue, tension, depression, anger, anxiety, or loneliness. Individuals will deal with these issues by finding comfort in food and comfort food usually does not include fruit and vegetables. Comfort food is usually cookies, candies, ice cream, milk shakes; food high in sugar fat and calories. We run to these types of foods because they give us a temporary euphoric feeling, but what you are feeling is a sugar high often followed by a low, which will eventually lead to a continual cycle of highs and lows. Thoughts may be brought on by negative ideas about self-worth causing you to just not care, therefore eat foods you shouldn’t be eating, especially for weight loss.

Situational Overeating Triggers

Situational eating is when you associate food with certain activities- you go to a movie and grab some popcorn and candy, sit down to watch TV and you grab the pretzels, chips, or ice cream, or sit at your desk and snack on the candies that your co-worker brought in.

Physical Overeating Triggers

Physical hunger is the actual need for food. Your body is in need of nutrients to function. Your job is to choose the right foods:  protein, vegetables, and high fiber carbohydrates. This is important for success after weight loss surgery. If you give your body what it physically needs you will be less likely to eat the tempting foods and remain in control of what goes into your mouth.

MINDFUL EATING CYCLE

To avoid unnecessary or tempting eating habits Michelle May, MD founder of “Am I Hungry?” asks us to partake in the process of asking ourselves a few questions:

mindfuleatingcycle

Once you figure out what makes you eat, the easier it is to make wiser choices and to avoid tempting situations. You must get to the cause before you can fix the problem. Try it now, ask yourself these questions; what causes you to eat when you are not necessarily hungry?

Some mindful eating tips to prevent eating at inopportune times include:

  • calling up a friend to discuss what you are feeling (without food around)
  • taking a walk or exercising
  • reading a book
  • writing a letter
  • painting a picture
  • going out and driving around town
  • taking a nap
  • planning a vacation
  • shopping, and much more

Once you practice it will become second nature, which in the end will help with maintaining weight loss after your weight loss surgery.

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing, that’s why we recommend it daily.“ Zig Ziglar

Kelsey Shepperd MS, RD/LD, CPT-CES, CLT

To receive more mindful eating tips, contact our My Bariatric Solutions dietitian at 940-503-1302.