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How to eat mindfully

September 26, 2019

What is the last thing you ate? What have you eaten in the last 12 hours? Now, can you recall the sensation you felt eating the food?

Chances are, if you’re able to recall everything you ate in the last day or so, you certainly can’t recall how you felt when you ate it. Studies show that, while Americans may spend an average of 2.5 hours eating per day, more than half of that time is spent multitasking. While eating, we’re working, driving, watching television, or mindlessly scrolling Instagram. Most of us aren’t fully mindful of what we’re eating. Some studies suggest that these mindless eating patterns can lead to obesity. Mindful eating can be the change you need to set you on the right path for healthy eating.

When practicing mindful eating, you are focusing on the moment. At the same time, you are acknowledging how you’re feeling, what you’re thinking, and how your body is feeling. You can apply this technique to any food you eat by truly paying attention to every bite you take.

Mindful eating goes further than how you feel during the actual act of eating. The act of being fully attentive to your food involves your food at every level—from purchase, to preparation, to plating, to consumption. In fact, it starts with your grocery list. Are you considering the nutritional value of every item you’re written down for purchase? Are you thinking about how it will make you feel once you’ve consumed it? Will you feel good about serving it?

When it comes to the actual act of eating, think about your appetite. If you’re starving, you’ll want to fill up quickly. That doesn’t give you a whole lot of room to eat slowly and think about what you’re consuming. Being hungry—but not ravenous—will help you dish up a healthy portion. Using a smaller plate is helpful, as it tricks the eye into thinking you’re consuming more than you are. Before digging in, take a minute to appreciate the food and express gratitude. As you eat, be sure to take small bites, chew slowly, and set your utensil down in-between bites; you’ll be able to absorb the full flavor. Make sure all your sense are part of the meal: how the food smells, looks, feels, tastes, and even sounds as you chew it.

In combination with a tool like the Lap-Band® System, which promotes satiety, eating mindfully can be a powerful tool in controlling your eating habits.


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Important Lap-Band® System Safety Information

The ReShape Lap-Band Systems are approved for adults with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or a BMI of at least 30 with health conditions related to obesity, who have not seen success with other weight loss methods, like supervised diet, exercise, and behavior modification programs. Choosing this surgery means committing to changes in eating habits for the long term.

The Lap-Band procedure is not approved for individuals under 18 yo, those with conditions that may make them poor surgical candidates or lead to poor results, such as inflammatory or cardiopulmonary diseases, problems with the stomach and digestion, symptoms or family history of autoimmune disease, scarring of the liver, individuals unable or unwilling to follow the necessary dietary restrictions, individuals with alcohol or drug addictions, or those currently pregnant. Individuals who become pregnant after band placement may require deflation of their bands.

The ReShape Lap-Band Systems, a long-term tool, may need to be adjusted if you get pregnant, sick, or malnourished. Be careful with anti-inflammatory drugs as they could make the band wear away. Like any surgery, placement of the Lap-Band may have complications such as risks from drugs and methods used, general surgery risks, how well your body handles a foreign object, or in rare cases, risk of death.

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with metabolic and bariatric surgery that you and your doctor should discuss. Potential risks associated with the Lap-Band include nausea, vomiting, heartburn, stomach blockage, constipation, swallowing difficulty, diarrhea, abnormal stools, abdominal pain, weakness, incision pain, infection, fever, hernia, chest pain, band movement, stomach pouch expansion, unusual healing, pain at the port site, port movement, and/or hair loss. Additional surgery might be needed. Losing weight quickly could lead to complications requiring more surgery. 

Talk to your doctor, and/or visit our website at for more information on its benefits and risks.