By April Irvine
Learning to eat and live mindfully is key to experiencing health and peace. Have you participated in several weight loss regimens and failed? From low carb diets, gluten-free to I -will-never-eat-sweets-again usually don’t work because it creates a negative relationship with food. Celebrations and potluck parties are usually a time of celebration but do you find that you are filled with anxiety and stress. This can take all the enjoyment out of eating. This can sometimes lead to binge-eating…more on that in another post.
Common sense tells us that to lose weight we must eat less and exercise more. Many of us knows that but we get stuck. We start on a weight loss program with good intentions, but somehow it doesn’t last. We become pessimistic and spend hours worrying about our future, blaming ourselves for what we have eaten and completely missing the present moment – the moment in which we have the power to make real change in our lives. The practice of being fully present in each moment is mindfulness.
At your next meal:
- Take the time to observe the meal, engage your senses of smell and sight.
- Take a small bite and savor it. Chew slowly.
- Put your fork down between each bite.
- Try to spend at least 20 minutes to eat a meal because that’s how long it takes for your body to stomach to send signal to your brain saying “I’m full”.
Pay attention to your hunger cues, that is: Eat when your hungry and stop when your full. Every time you open the fridge, have a conversation with yourself. Why are you eating? Are you bored? Tired? It’s 6pm that means it’s dinner time? Or is it because you are truly hungry. If so, go ahead and eat.
Eating when your hungry and stopping when your full can un-complicate your life. You don’t need to worry about counting calories, keeping track of what ingredients are in it, etc. But I should also say, as your future registered dietitian, every time you do choose to eat be sure that most of the time it’s a healthy choice. That is choose whole grains, fruits, vegetables, etc. It’s still OK to have your cake and eat it too, all foods can fit! I would just have to advise to not eat cake every single day. Try switching up with fruit every once in a while.
Trust me, choosing to eat when your hungry and stop when your full, can help you lose weight effortlessly and make eating enjoyable. Mindfulness will help you reconnect with yourself and become healthier in mind and body.
1. Hanh TN, Cheung L. Savor, Mindful Eating, Mindful Life. HarperOne; 2010.