Chances are, if you eat out often, you may have a harder time managing your weight than if you ate every one of your meals at home. Eating at home also has its downsize because the kitchen is always there. What you eat and the quantity of food eaten can certainly make or break someone's diet. One other tool has proven to be quite effective in the weight loss department. Here's quick explanation of how mindful eating helps with weight loss.
I have a little good news for those of you who are regular restaurant-goes. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Education revealed that women between the ages of 40 and 59 who were simply asked to recall what it was they ate earlier in the week at restaurants visited. The participants knew they would be asked what they ate and...that's all it took. Over the six week the participants lost an average of about three pounds.
You may initially scoff at the notion of only losing three pounds in six weeks, but this study wasn't about weight loss - or even eating healthy for that matter! The goal was to achieve weight maintenance as women between the ages of 40 - 59 are much more likely to gain midsection weight due to various reasons, including overindulging, hormones, etc.
The Key to Mindful Eating
The big thing that I took away from this study is that making yourself accountable to someone helps. The participants of the study probably had no relationship with the interviewers at all. They were essentially anonymous. My advice is to make yourself accountable to someone that is a part of a supportive community, like friends at your health club or an online community. I don't believe weight management is as easy to support unless everyone in your family is on board. Several of my clients have been unintentionally sabotaged by loving spouses, parents or siblings who love them unconditionally - the way they are.
The message: don't change. Find yourself an accountability partner who knows what you're trying to accomplish, understands your goals, and will help you stick to them - especially when you want to give up.
Finally, be aware of what you're putting in your mouth - all the time! As the mother of three kids, I know how easy it is to nibble at part of a snack that goes uneaten. It's also easy to grab a small slice of warm bread from a basket put right under your nose at your favorite restaurant. Or how about justifying a larger portion of potatoes, rice or pasta at dinner because you worked out that day? These are all reasons to eat, but they're not good reasons to eat more.
Try This Mindful Exercise
I'd like to challenge you to be aware of what you're eating for the next several days. Everything that you eat that is loaded with sugar or completely unnecessary (warm restaurant bread) will only slow you down and sabotage your goals. It's not a bad idea to keep a food journal. Sometimes just knowing that you have to write down what it is that you're eating can act as a deterrent from making a choice you'd regret.
As always, let me know how you do! If you're not connecting with me yet on Facebook, now is a great time to start! Beginning this February, I'll be running my first ever blog contest - and I want you to be a part of it. There are some pretty great prizes and an impressive panel of judges - some of whom you may have heard of...especially if you're a Biggest Loser fan. More details on that coming soon!