Reward driven eating is characterized by 1.Intense cravings 2.Inabiliy to stop eating despite the consequences and 3. a preoccupation with food and a lack of fullness. Slowing down to acknowledge your thoughts and decisions will give you time to way benefits vs. consequences.
The food industry is very familiar with this system understanding that various chemicals in our brain such as dopamine are expressed with certain tastes. In fact, the food industry has designed foods that are higher in salt and sugar that an essence enhances reward driven eating. In other words the brain feels that the food taste better and wants you to keep eating more ( Remeber other parts of your body may disagree such as your arteries, heart, intestines to name a few). And thus more calories and greater weight. The practice of mindfulness has been shown to have a significant impact in reducing the likelyhood of regaining weight. There are several reasons for this such as; an enhanced awareness of fullness and hunger, more intune to the negative consequences of overeating, less rumination and fixation surrounding food. Studies have also shown less anxiety and depression after long term Mindfulness practice ( six months or greater ).
We know that greater psychological stress and difficulties coping with stress increase risk for weight gain and regaining weight as well.
Eating to feel better when experiencing negative emotions or when in unpleasant situations, or eating to avoid worries and problems, is associated with greater chances of regaining initial weight loss.
Mindfulness training in emotion regulation and mindful eating may provide greater long-term weight lost benefits as well as psychological well-being benefits in people who are overweight compared to only a conventional diet and exercise regimen.
Consider making meditation a part of your weight loss program to help keep the weight off.