December 16, 2021

Mindful Eating

Many people think that working out is a free pass to eat anything you want. The common perception is that you may stuff your face, even with junk food, as long as you exercise. It is as if physical movement can negate all the sugar and processed foods you take in.

But this is not the case. Even if you work out regularly, your program can never out pace a lousy diet. You can only lose hundreds of calories per session, while an overloaded burger with a side off ries and soda can go up to thousands of calories. And that’s just for one meal.



For this reason, we believe regular exercise go hand in hand with a healthy diet. We are not talking about fad and overly restrictive diets here. If you feel that you are depriving yourself, such would be counter productive.  

Tons of research has shown that the best eating regimen is one that you can practice consistently, is sustainable and good for the environment. It should be one that you will be comfortable doing for the long term.

One formula may prove to be among the most effective for most people out there. If you are serious about your health journey, you may want to practice mindful eating.


How It Works

Obviously, everything about this starts with mindfulness. Because we have all been trained all of our lives to multi-task,we rush through many things in our daily lives. As a result, we tend to neglect what happens “in the moment”, and we fail to appreciate just being present wherever we are.

Mindfulness is appreciating where you are right now without interpretation or judgement.

Is your mind full, or are you being mindful?

If you are working out, it would be good to pay attention to your body and how you are adjusting. Think or be mindful of the muscles you are working and your bodies position in space. Feel your breath as you move. Notice how your heart beats and how your body perspires. 

Meanwhile, mindful eating means you are not in a rush to stuff your face with as much food as you can. Learn to slow down and appreciate the food first. It would be good to process the food’s aroma and presentation. Don’t eat your meal while trying to watch TV, work at your desk or being emersed in social media. Eat you meal at the table, with family and friends and enjoy the experience.

When you take the first bite, chew slowly and feel its texture in your mouth. Identify and think about the flavours you are experiencing. By practicing this, another positive effect this can have is that you will have a renewed appreciation for fresh fruits and vegetables because of their distinct light flavours.


Mindful Eating tips

  1. Stop to  notice the smells, colours, shapes and textures of the food on your plate
  2. Chew slowly and enjoy each mouthful
  3. Chew longer than you think you need too before swallowing. The longer you can chew and     break down your food, the better your digestive system will work
  4. Place cutlery down immediately after taking a mouthful
  5. Eat at the table with no distractions (yep, that means leaving your phone in your bedroom and turning the TV off)
  6. Imagine a  scale of 1 - 10 (1 = very hungry; 10 = very full). Eat when you feel around a 3/10 and stop eating when you feel around an 8/10
  7. Use a smaller plate - using a large plate may act as an external cue which overrides your internal cues.



Managing Weight with mindful eating

The science is simple. If you are eating while in front of your computer, your mind cannot focus on what goes inside your body. You see, our biological make-up has natural signals. When our bodies already receive the nourishment it needs, it will tell our mind that we have had enough food already. Thus, you may now stop eating.


However, when we are multi-tasking, we miss out on these cues. As a result, we end up eating more than what we really need. This kind of practice leads to weight gain. When you do this for prolonged periods, it can make you obese.


Not a Numbers Game

What’s excellent about mindful eating is thatit is not too technical. Many people shy away from healthy eating because oftheir preconceived notions about what it entails. Maybe they know some people who are overly strict about their food intake. They measure and count all the calories, fat, and other macros of each item they eat. This is not Mindful eating. This is calorie counting.

For beginners, this can be a daunting concept. Imagine, they are already intimidated because they will embark on a new lifestyle. This in itself is already overwhelming. But then they will learn that they need to log all of their food for every meal? This can be a significant turn off for most.


Mindful eating is more manageable because of its emphasis on our natural body processes. Instead of being strict about your food macros, the key is to be aware of when your body tells you to stop. The great thing about it is that when you are in the moment as you eat, you will recognize your body’s cues.


There are many resourses which can assist with teaching you Mindfulness. Mindful eating coupled with our My Vegan Meal Plan program, will provide you with the right formula for your health and weight loss / gain goals.