Recently I remember reading an article on losing weight and one of the suggestions was not to eat when you are distracted. The reason being, according to the article, is that individuals tend to eat more when they are distracted. The article went on to suggest that when you are eating you should not be involved in any other activities. It seemed to make sense to me. Today it seems like everyone is distracted. No one seems to be present to the task at hand and everyone seems to be somewhere else rather than present. Just look at people in their cars and you will see many people distracted and only a few driving. Now that is scary.
What happens when we are distracted while eating? The article went on to point out that we tend to eat more than normal. We may not be present to that satiated feeling of being full and we are not mindful of what we are selecting to put into our bodies.
According to new research, mindfulness sharpens a person’s ability to recognize internal cues that signal hunger and fullness. In a 2016 study, researchers taught people a short body scan meditation that primes them to become more aware of their own body. (Try out our guided meditation below to see what it’s like.) The meditators then received either a small or large Snickers bar. Later, they were allowed to eat as many chocolate cookies as they liked.
Meditation and Mindfulness
A new type of meditation is beginning to take hold in the West, it’s called mindful meditation. Most people are familiar with meditation where one tries to empty their mind of all thought. Mindful meditation is different. Rather than trying to empty your mind of all thought the individual becomes conscious of being present in the moment. When an individual practices mindful meditation while eating they focus on the food. Individuals focusing on the food they are eating tend to eat less and become more aware of being full.
Researchers in the fast-growing field of mindfulness research are learning that simply changing how we eat might be a key to weight loss. Mindful practices like meditation are being used as tools to improve health, lessen pain and dodge sickness in large part because they reduce stress. And since stress is often at the root of overeating, mindfulness seems to make us eat better meals, which means it’s likely possible to lose weight without dieting.
Mindful Meditation and Other Benefits
Researchers now believe that mindful meditation can improve cognitive function and reduce stress along with weight loss. Researchers also found that people who practice mindful meditation while eating less food cravings. Many believe that there are more benefits to this practice. Mindful meditation retreats and books are written on the subject are readily available to those who are interested. Does it work? You’ll have to do send mindful meditation when you eat to find the answer.