My Four Pillars of Healthy Weight Loss

Food • Activity • Mindset • Sleep

• Food

Eat Slowly & Mindfully

So simple, it's genius. You'll enjoy what you eat more–and it can help you weigh less!

By Amanda Genge

and Lisa Thomas

Multi-taskers are us! We juggle jobs, cooking, errands, doctor’s visits, dog walking, and laundry. Unfortunately, this means that we often pull a double shift at mealtimes, too. We grab (and devour) breakfast while commuting to the office; squeeze in a quick lunch while working at our desks; and wolf down dinner while watching TV with the family. Speed eating has an obvious downside: You’re more likely to overeat. But you’re also missing out on the pure pleasures of tasting your food and relaxing over a meal.

Reclaim your attention

Think about your last couple of meals. Were you doing anything else while eating? Like, say, texting or checking Connect on the app? Looking at your smartphone can become a reflex to the point that you lose focus on your plate. Turn off the TV and the smartphone, clear the table, and focus on your food. Mindful eating means you are fully present. Your heart rate naturally slows and your breathing deepens; you’re physically calmer and better able to savor your meal.

Consider these ideas to decelerate your dining:

Plan menus

When you’re in a hurry, you might just grab whatever is convenient—and eat it with the same lack of focus. Deciding what to eat ahead of time eliminates this on-the-fly hazard. Stuck and need last-minute menu mojo? Check out our Starter Meals. You’ll find delicious options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even snacks.

Eat regularly

Don’t let more than four hours go by between meals, so you aren’t famished, and therefore prone to gobble your grub when you sit down to eat.

Pause for a quiet moment

Before you dig in, stop to reflect on your mood. A little mini-meditation before a meal can help keep emotional eating in check.

Set a time and place

Sit down to eat, preferably at a table (not your desk). A view out a window, or a place outside at a picnic table, helps create a pleasing vibe. Even if you have just 15 minutes to eat, you can make the most of those minutes.

Take it all in

Engage all your senses. How does the food look and smell? Anticipate that first taste and really savor each mouthful.

Downsize your bites

Your meal shouldn’t be a race to the finish line. Take smaller bites, put your fork down in between, chew each bite thoroughly (fiber-rich foods like apples and broccoli take longer to chew), and take a sip of water before lifting your fork again.

Avoid social sidetracks

Dining out with family and friends is one of life’s pleasures. But laughter and chatter can distract you from what and how much you’re eating, so keep checking in with your plate (and your appetite)!

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