When it comes to mindful eating, the keto diet is often overlooked. Maybe because the focus of the keto WOE is on macros and food groups, rather than mindful eating practices.
Mindful eating is an important part of any weight loss journey, and it can be especially helpful for those on the keto diet.
Eating is a big part of life. And a healthy relationship with food is all about being aware of what you're eating, how much you're eating, and why you're eating.
It's about being in the present moment and paying attention to your body's signals. This can be a difficult practice for those who are used to mindlessly snacking or overeating. However, with a little practice, mindful eating can become second nature.
Mindless Eating vs Awareness
Conscience eating has more than health benefits.
When you take the time to eat slowly and fully experience the flavor and texture of your food, it tastes better.
And take it from me, when you slow down you will also find that you gravitate toward better healthier food. Meals will be about more than dieting, they'll be a full and satisfying experience - the way they were meant to be.
And especially if you combine this awareness with a Keto way of eating, you will eat less, have more control, and you will enjoy it more.
There are a few key things to keep in mind when practicing mindful eating on the keto diet.
- First, be aware of your body's cues. If you're not really hungry, there's no need to eat just because you're on a diet.
- Second, pay attention to what you're eating. Make sure you're getting enough nutrients and not overindulging in any one food group.
- And finally, be mindful of your portion sizes. Just because something is low carb doesn't mean you can eat as much as you want. Calories still matter.
Whether it's your weight or you have some other health issues, a low carb diet plus mindful eating is a great place to start for better health and a happier life.
By being aware of what you're eating and why you're eating it, you can make more mindful choices that will help you reach your health goals.
Tips for mindful eating on Keto:
Mindful eating as opposed to mindless eating is easier if you begin to recognize your habits and consciously break free of the bad habits.
Start by looking at your hunger cues:
There's a lot of reasons you might feel like eating, and not all of them are about actual hunger.
For example, there’s no need to eat just because you’re on a diet. This is a common mistake people make when they’re trying to lose weight.
You don't have to eat six meals a day, or three, or even one time. Listening to your body - what it's actually telling you - it's the best way to know when you should be eating.
Listen to your body and eat when you’re actually hungry, not just because it’s dinner time or you’re used to eating at a certain time.
Eating on schedule can be difficult to control, but it’s important to eat mindfully and not just out of habit.
I know that sometimes in life, you can't control when meal time is- like if you have small children, a 9-5 job or any number of factors like that. But remember, while you may have to feed the kids you can chose to eat or not eat if you don't feel like it. Sit with them and talk. It's important. But don't feel like you have to have a full meal if you aren't ready.
Another thing to consider is what you’re actually eating.
When you’re trying to get healthy, or drop a few pounds, it’s important to focus on healthy, nutrient-rich foods that will keep you feeling full, and provide the energy you need to get through the day.
The keto diet is a great for healthy weight loss in, but it’s important to be mindful of what you’re eating. Keto friendly foods like avocados, fatty fish, and olive oil are packed with nutrients and can help you lose weight, but it’s important to eat them in moderation.
The high fat foods that work well on Keto don't mean that you won't need to restrict calories to burn body fat.
If you’re mindful of your own cues and focus on eating nutrient-rich foods, you’ll be well on your way to losing weight in a healthy way.
An important factor in conscious eating is to ENJOY your food. Stop eating foods you don't like just because some blogger or "guru" (Even me) says to eat it.
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Free food isn't a hunger cue. Pass up the free donuts at work:
Free food is often a trap. It's easy to mindlessly eat whatever is available, without even considering whether or not you're actually hungry. But especially on the keto diet, it's important to be mindful of what and WHY we're eating.
If we're not careful, free food can quickly sabotage our weight loss efforts. That's because when we eat without being mindful of our body's cues, we're more likely to overeat. And even on the keto diet, overeating can lead to weight gain.
So, next time you're tempted by the free food at work, ask yourself: "Am I really hungry?" If the answer is no, resist the temptation and save your calories for later. (plus free food is almost always cheap processed carbs that you shouldn't eat anyway.)
Eating mindfully on keto doesn't mean you can never enjoy free food again. But it does mean being mindful and making conscious choices about WHAT you eat.
Emotional Eating: What is it and How to Overcome It:
We’ve all been there. We’re stressed, tired, or maybe a little bored, and we reach for food even though we don't really want it.
This is called emotional eating, and it can be a major barrier to weight loss.
This kind of is of indulging is triggered by negative feelings like stress, anxiety, or sadness. But it can also be sparked by feelings like boredom or happiness.
And while emotions and indulging can happen to anyone, it’s especially common among people who are actively trying to lose weight.
That’s because when we restrict our food intake, we often become more aware of our "hunger" and more attuned to our emotions. As a result, we may start to see food as a way to cope with our feelings, rather than just a source of nourishment. This can lead to over doing it or binging food, both of which can sabotage your weight loss efforts.
So how can you overcome emotional overeating?
The first step is becoming aware of your triggers. Once you know what might cause you to emotionally eat, you can begin to work on developing other coping mechanisms.
For example, if you tend to eat when you’re bored, find something else to do that will occupy your time and attention. If you eat when you’re stressed, learn some relaxation techniques or take a break from whatever is causing the anxiety.
It’s also important to remember that food is not a cure for emotional difficulties.
If you’re feeling sad, angry, or anxious, ice cream or cake will not make those feelings go away. In fact, it may just make you feel worse.
If you need an emotional quick fix, the best thing is exercise. Easier said than done but stick with me here...
Exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting benefits. And it can also help to reduce stress and anxiety.
If you’re struggling with depression, talk to your doctor or a counselor. It can make a huge difference in your long term success.
Pay attention to what you’re consuming:
Make sure you’re getting enough nutrients and not overindulging in junk food. And be mindful of your portion sizes:
It’s easy to mindlessly eat when you're not paying attention, but being mindful of how much you're having can help us avoid over indulging and weight gain.
Set realistic goals for yourself.
If you’re trying to lose some pounds, set realistic goals for yourself. Trying to lose too much weight too quickly can lead to frustration and giving up altogether.
And remember that weight loss is not a linear process. There will be ups and downs along the way. So don’t get discouraged if you have a setback. Just get back on track and keep going.
Get support from others.
If you’re trying to drop some weight, it can be helpful to have the support of others.
Talk to your friends and family about your goals, and ask them for their help and support. There are also many online communities, like our group on Facebook where you can find motivation and encouragement from others who are trying to lose weight. (As well as good recipes;))
Eating mindfully is an important part of any weight loss plan.
It can help you become more aware of your eating habits and make healthier choices. And while it’s not always easy, with a little practice, it can become second nature.
Intuitive Keto is all about making a conscious effort to be aware of what you're putting into your body and why. It's about being mindful of your choices and mindful of your body's cues.
Intuitive eating has been gaining traction lately too. It's a non-diet approach to eating that is all about listening to your body's hunger cues and honoring your cravings.
It can work with keto as long as you have a handle on how your personal macros and calorie needs work first.
So how do you eat intuitively on the keto diet?
The intuitive Keto approach may be difficult because not only is it low carb, but many people have imposed other rules for their "Keto Diets" that really have nothing to do with ketosis.
Rules like being "sugar free" and "gluten free" or avoiding certain foods because they aren't "Keto" according to their favorite guru tend to trip people up. the line is blurred when trying to start testing their ability to learn the difference between "intuitive" and plain old unhealthy eating behaviors.
Intuition and Keto can go hand in hand:
I have explained a million times that food isn't "Keto" or "Not Keto".
Ketosis is a metabolic process that happens when you keep your carbohydrates low enough for your body to reach ketosis. You can practice Keto AND be gluten free or sugar free but it isn't required.
Even constant ketosis is not required to get the health benefits and clean energy that Keto provides.
The bad kind of "gluten is the devil" kind of Fad Keto information that spreads around the internet environment like wildfire is destructive. It's weird type of shaming that people cling to in groups and I hate it.
Eating disorders are caused by shaming and I wish we could all just be nicer to ourselves and each other. Brandy gets verbally beat up often over certain recipes of ours that contain gluten - like this Keto Almond Yeast Bread Recipe that I wrote years ago.
It contains vital wheat gluten and a teaspoon of sugar to make it rise (oh the horror).
The yeast eats the sugar (science) and the bread is certainly "Keto Friendly" but the Keto Cops out there almost always find a way to be awful.
She deletes hateful emails and nasty comments on social media every week so we can keep sharing it. It's damn good AND it helps people.
The intuitive eating approach on Keto is possible if you practice listening to your body, recognize your fullness signals and modify your eating habits to only indulge in the specific food and rules that you have found that work for YOUR body. Everyone is different.
In fact, my own wife (Brandy) is practicing intuitive keto now. She had started to notice a big "weight creep" and so she stopped consuming any dairy products besides butter.
She said she could just "feel" inflammation after she ate cheese and she was right. The weight practically fell off of her when she went dairy free. Is that "Intuitive Keto" or just the plain old Keto woe PLUS being dairy free? It's both of course.
Intermittent fasting and Conscious WOE
I use intermittent fasting to keep my weight down, I don't eat anything until lunchtime and I stop eating by 7:30pm.
This is a CONSCIENCE effort in that I am aware of my own rule for my own body. It's eating intuitively.
Brandy doesn't follow this- it's not necessary for her. In fact, she hates it and like I said, does HER OWN intuitive keto for HER OWN BODY.
Diets are always controversial and it seems most people cant agree on anything these days - so you do you boo.
And, what I mean by that is to learn to listen to your body, be conscious of what and when and why you eat and most of all ENJOY YOUR FOOD!
Diets are hard. No one wants to "diet". This is more of a way of life, something you do forever, so it has to be good. It just wont work otherwise.
Freedom from feeling like you're starving on the roller coaster of blood sugar combined with knowing that you don't have to eat on a regimented schedule can make eating a sensational experience.
And now when I say that Keto should be healthy, sustainable and delicious, I can honestly put the accent on delicious.
Cheers for now!