How to use mindfulness to lose weight and create an exercise practice you love

Developing a mindfulness practice can help to change habits as it helps you to notice when you’re on autopilot. Rather than regretting the decision you made later, it helps you stay present in the moment so you can change your course of action leading to more intentional actions that you can feel good about. Essentially it helps you feel in control of your body and your actions.

It also is a good tool to keep you in touch with your goals and hopes. Check out the ways below in which mindfulness can help you to improve your overall health and why it’s the foundation for making long term habit changes.

Looking to lose weight?

  • Do a gut check before eating to ask yourself if you’re really hungry or if you’re stressed or bored.
  • When you’re hungry, savor each bite – notice the flavors and texture and aim to get 20-30 chews in before swallowing.
  • Notice what you’re saying to yourself while you’re eating. If you’re being mean to yourself, switch to non-judgement.
  • Do another gut check to see how full you are. Our brains take about 20 minutes to catch up with our stomachs, so go slowly and eat when you feel slightly full but not ready to pop.

Creating an exercise practice

Mindfulness helps you to enjoy activities which will, in turn, help them stick, leading to a longterm practice.

  • Tune into how your body feels – do your muscles feel tight? are you feeling antsy?
  • Ask yourself if the activity you’re doing makes you feel good?
  • Notice your thoughts about how you’re moving. Are you comparing yourself to the person next to you? Practice kind, gentle thoughts.
  • If the exercise is targeting a certain body part, tune and breathe into that part and recognize how it feels and give gratitude to the strength your body has.