Did you know that practicing mindfulness can ultimately affect the outcome of our weight loss goal? FNF PT Ryan Florido explains what mindfulness is and shares how you can be more mindful when consuming food.

It seems fairly straightforward but mindfulness is when ‘the mind is fully attending to what’s happening, to what you’re doing, to the space you’re moving through’.

According to anecdotal evidence and some existing research, mindfulness techniques can help a person maintain or improve their physical and mental well-being. For example, mindfulness can help reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety, enhance cognitive function (mental processes that allow us to function), and it may even improve a person’s immune response (how your body recognizes and defends itself against bacteria, viruses, and substances that appear foreign and harmful). 

The principle behind mindfulness is simple:

One has to be fully present in the moment, focusing their attention on external stimuli and their affects on the body and mind. Mindfulness is also learning to simultaneously recognize and dismiss unnecessary thoughts.

A great example of this is, have you ever poked your head into your pantry looking for something to snack on, paused for a brief moment and wondered if you were actually hungry or just bored and started to look for something to do? People whose goal is to lose weight should try to give meals their full attention rather than eat while doing something else, such as watching television or working.

Another great practice is to stop eating once you’re full instead of forcing yourself to finish your food. Likewise, just taking a moment to savour your food and appreciate the way it tastes and even the way it has been prepared.

Chewing food and doing so thoughtfully requires a lot of mindfulness. Experts suggest that we need to chew our food an estimated 32 times before swallowing – have you ever counted how many times you chew?

A lack of mindfulness can therefore be a big factor in your weight loss progress. A study on mindful eating provided results that suggest that there is a beneficial association between mindful eating and weight loss.

Practicing mindfulness, like most things, will aid you not only your waist line, but other facets of your life such as work and relationships etc.

Blog post courtesy of Liverpool St and St Peters PT Ryan Florido

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