Study after study has shown that over the long haul dieting is rarely effective, doesn’t reliably improve health, and can do more harm than good. So, what is the alternative for people who truly need and want to achieve a healthier weight?
Registered Dietitian Marsha Hudnall shared some ideas about how to incorporate mindful eating as part of the solution to achieving a healthy weight. For the full article, check out her blog here.
Here are a few ideas on how you can get started with mindful eating.
1. Trust yourself to manage your hunger
Ignoring your hunger cues to comply with someone else’s rules is a surefire way to throw your body off and create a hostile physiological environment that’s not conducive for achieving and maintaining your healthy weight.
Basically, you’re working against yourself. Instead, try tuning in and investigate your physiological hunger — those grumblings, growlings, feelings of emptiness, and more. Don’t be afraid to feel them; instead work toward trusting what they are telling you.
2. Figure out what it is that you really want
Imagine being able to eat whatever you want. Sounds amazing, right? Well, it isn’t that amazing; it’s just totally normal. Contrary to popular belief, lots of people everywhere are eating what they want and maintaining a healthy weight. Go ahead and try it for yourself. It’s important to enjoy what you eat and feel good about it.
3. Level the playing field
In order to investigate what it is you really want to eat, try to separate yourself from the external information that you may have worked so diligently to gather up, stockpile, and recall on command. All of that is diet stuff, and it is someone else’s rules. The key is to work toward letting go of the diet mentality and begin to look at food in a more neutral way. Get curious about how the food you eat affects you. Ask yourself the following questions:
Did I find pleasure in that food? Did the food feel good in my body? Did it give me energy?
These are a few good questions to get you away from the external cues and lean more toward the internal cues. This will get you away from NOT eating something you really want because you’ve been told it is bad or eating something you really don’t enjoy only because you were told it’s healthy. This way of eating isn’t supportive, sustainable, or healthy.
4. Be confident in your choices
Once you make a choice of what to eat, be confident. You made a sound body and mind decision on what to eat by balancing out the physiological hormones that drive hunger. You did this by investigating how the food makes you feel both physiologically and psychologically. The more often you do this, the more confident you will be that you are eating according to what makes you feel good.
5. Shift your focus from weight to health
Your body will feel comfortable when its nutritional needs are met and it will do what it does naturally, which is to heal itself and find homeostasis (balance). Your body wants to settle at a healthy weight. It’s important not to fight against the situations necessary for this to happen. Start looking at what health means to you beyond purely a goal weight. Investigate what feeling good means to you and how you can start moving in that direction more often.
Are you ready to redirect your energy into establishing a healthy weight and pattern of eating?
I’d LOVE to help you with that!
Email or call me at 732-494-1149. Let’s get started with a conversation.
Images courtesy of Ambro and tiverylucky at FreeDigitalPhotos.net