Few of us lose or maintain weight by desire because intentions without a viable game plan are no plan at all. We need an engagement process that offers a new awareness and approach to our love/hate relationship with food. We call this intention implementation system mindful eating.
One of the most transformative aspects of mindful eating is called “Shifting Out of Autopilot.” It involves bringing a new awareness and accountability to eating habits through the documentation of choices. Echoing insights offered by data analysis in other fields, shifting out of autopilot removes the convenient fog of how often and how much we eat. It tracks the details of the pattern that for most of us that isn’t working as a prelude to mapping out a pattern that does work.
You initiate the shift out of autopilot eating habits by choosing a calendar or online journal for recording all food and drink consumed each day. Once you begin to document the data, you will find that awareness and accountability unto itself changes your eating habits. Clarity proves to be an invaluable for making better choices.
I have a collection of old food journals that document my patterns, insights and course corrections for losing and managing weight. They confirm that success doesn’t necessarily mean eating different foods so much as it means making better choices about the amount of food I eat. This awareness of volume is a game changer.
I have found that once you commit to measuring the amount of food and recording it, you will start to see results on the scale. Tenacity is the secret sauce of this mindful strategy. While weight changes don’t happen overnight, it does match the pace of your determination to utilize this new awareness for food choices. With mindful eating, time is always your ally.
Finally, the foundation of mindful eating is found in the “why” of your desire to make changes. What are your reasons for making this change? How will your life change once you hit your weight target?” Yes, the data is important for finding your path out of autopilot eating, but the why is what will sustain you while making the journey.
I teach mindful eating at our annual Women in the Rockies wellness adventure at C Lazy U ranch every year. Shifting out of autopilot is one of the strategies we focus on during the retreat.