In a hurry to lose weight? Try focusing on the present moment.

62762876 - slow down road sign 3d concept illustration on sky backgroundIf your goals for the future include losing weight, you might experience the most success by keeping your attention focused on the present moment. The latest wisdom from weight-loss experts is that anyone seeking to shed pounds will benefit from a mindfulness practice at meal times.

Trying to multitask by performing routine activities — such as watching television, taking calls or answering emails — during meals could be causing you to overeat. That can lead to weight gain or prevent you from taking off unwanted pounds.

Studies by weight-loss experts conclude that practicing mindfulness, or trying to be less distracted and more aware, can aid in weight loss by helping people get in touch with feelings of hunger and satisfaction. Slowing down at meal times also helps people to recognize when emotional discomfort, rather than real hunger, is causing them to eat.

The concept of mindful eating isn’t new. The idea has roots in a number of cultures that advocate the practice of mindful awareness to reduce anxiety and increase overall satisfaction with life. It’s an old answer for a new problem. Modern life is full of distractions that call for our attention and place demands on our time. Simply being busy won’t necessarily lead you to overeat. But if you try to schedule too many activities into your day, you might be leaving yourself little time to focus on reaching your goals.

So here are some tips: Sit down to enjoy meals, rather than quickly eating on the go. Eat in a peaceful setting that allows you to focus on the meal. Take smaller bites and chew longer to savor your food. Slowing down to taste each bite can help you find a healthy, balanced meal more satisfying. Prolonging a meal might also help you realize when you’re full, even if that happens before you’ve cleared your plate. Over time, the practice may help you recognize when you aren’t actually hungry between meals but are reaching for a snack as a distraction from boredom.

Marsha Nunley MD
Marsha Nunley MD
I am an internist, trained and experienced in Western Medicine, who believes that illness and disease are best treated by working to discover their underlying causes. Come to me for bioidentical hormones, advice on healthy aging, and whole-body medicine.