Losing weight is often associated with dieting and deprivation. But you can actually lose weight by changing how you eat, rather than what you eat. In fact, mindful eating can help you slim down while still enjoying your favorite foods. If it sounds too good to be true, keep reading.

Mindful eating is when you increase your awareness and focus your attention on the eating process. By keeping distractions at bay, and eating slowly, mindful eating allows you to tap into your five senses, and really enjoy all the flavors and nuances of your meal.

Mindful eating has many benefits, including helping people lose weight, as this study demonstrates. Study author, Dr. Carolyn Dunn, confirms practicing mindfulness had a positive associate with weight loss, but mindful eating isn’t just good for weight loss. It’s about improving your overall relationship with food, too.

Dunn said, “Are you letting your emotions drive your eating? Are you eating out of fear or depression? Are you letting external cues drive your eating…?” When these factors drive our eating habits, it’s easy to gain unnecessary weight.

So, what are some good ways to eat mindfully? Here are 9 strategies:

  1. Avoid eating when you’re emotionally upset
  1. Always eat sitting down
  1. Only eat when you’re actually hungry
  1. Chew your food carefully and thoroughly
  1. Try to avoid eating and drinking at the same time
  1. Create a calm atmosphere for your meal
  1. Avoid talking while you chew your food
  1. After your meal, sit for a few minutes in quiet and stillness
  1. Try to stop eating before you feel full