Eating mindfully means being aware and thoughtful about every bite that you put in your mouth. When you don’t pay attention to what you are eating it is really easy to overeat. This is exactly what happens when you start eating a bag of chips in front of the TV, or go for that ice cream straight out of the pint. Without making conscious choices about what you are eating, and how much you plan to eat, you could take in hundreds more calories a day than you mean to—all without actually being hungry.
Here are a few strategies to become more mindful in your eating after weight loss surgery:
- Create an eating space. Use your dining room table as it is intended and clear it of all clutter. Make this your eating space. If you are going to eat anything, then you sit down at the table. This means no more couch eating in front of the TV. Make your eating space more inviting by setting up a nice placemat and dishes that will help you enjoy the moment and appreciate the food that you are eating.
- Keep a journal. This is a highly recommended practice prior to surgery, as it helps you focus on what you are eating and how you can make improvements in your diet. However, keeping a journal after surgery can also be helpful. The practice of writing down what you are eating every time will help prevent you from engaging in mindless snacking.
- Remove yourself from temptation. This is especially important at social gatherings where food is often present. If there is a buffet table nearby, then station yourself as far from it as possible. Go to the event with a clear expectation of what you will be eating, and then stop. It may be helpful to contact the host beforehand and ask about their food plans, this way you will know if you should eat before you go.
Becoming a more mindful eater has nothing to do with learning to cut calories or control your appetite, and everything to do with your mental relationship with food. Be more conscious with every bite you take. This can help you stay healthy as you continue losing weight and learn to keep it off for the long-run.