In case you haven’t heard, dieting doesn’t work. I don’t think there is one case of someone going on a diet, getting healthier (not just skinnier) and being able to maintain that diet over time. Despite perhaps losing some initial weight, the dieter will eventually throw in the towel and gain all the weight back and then some.
Diets don’t work because they are too restrictive and often far too dangerous. But, when people are focused on losing weight instead of getting healthy, these diets are usually what they turn to.
It’s Time to Change the Way We Think And Eat!
Eating should be a flexible thing that’s based on nutrition, satiation, hunger, and pleasure, rather than being based entirely on weight loss. But if dieting is not the answer – what is?
Mindful eating stems from the centuries-old practice of mindfulness, or mindful meditation. This practice involves giving your FULL attention to the present moment.
Mindful eating discourages “judging” ones eating patterns and instead encourages the individual to make food choices that will be not only satisfying to their body but also nourishing. The idea is that once we really become FULLY aware of our eating habits and can make the connection between them and how we look and feel, we can take the necessary steps to change what needs to be changed.
Tips for Getting Started with Mindful Eating
If you’ve been struggling with your weight and would like to completely shift how you think about food, here are some tips for getting started with a mindful eating practice:
- Appreciate the food – Honor where your food came from and how it got onto your plate.
- Be Sensible – Use all of your senses to really smell, taste, see and recognize the textures of your food. Be in the moment with your food.
- Savor and Chew Thoroughly – When you are in the present moment, fully mindful of the taste and deliciousness of the food, and when you are certain to chew thoroughly, you can’t help but slow way down. This helps not to overeat.
These are only a few of the principles behind mindful eating. But when you change how you think about food, any negative thoughts and emotions you have about food and weight loss will be replaced with awareness and self-control.
If you’d like to work on your mental health through focusing on mindful and flexible eating for health instead of weight loss, please reach out to us.