Mindful Eating, or Diet

 

The word “diet” comes from the Greek root word “diaita”, which means “to live one's life,” and from the Latin root word, “diaeta,” meaning a “manner of living”.

In our modern world a diet is often seen as a restrictive diet to lose weight, we go on a diet and then we come off it, falling off the wagon it is often called. The root word diaita translates to "to live one's life". On this page we will explore how to live ones life in a mindful way, The by product is that in turn it will help you to lose weight and live healthier.

Almost every week, a new diet emerges in the media, proclaiming a quick fix and promising better health. These are hard to ignore when we’re on a mission to shed pounds. Unfortunately, most fad diets don’t address the underlying mindset and ingrained habits that can trigger unbalanced eating. With so much conflicting information, it can be easy to slip into a repeated cycle of losing and gaining weight, along with an unhealthy relationship with food. It is worth looking up Giles Yeo's Facebook page. His new book Gene Eating is quite revealing, worth a read.

So are all diets bad? No of course not. Scientific research has shown that support groups such as Slimming World (other diet groups are available) can really make a significant difference. Learning about food, and the healthy options available are important too. The scientific study shows that staying for the support from the group is a really important part though, as this fuels the long term goal of keeping the weight off.

Hippocrates famously said "Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food." and who am I to argue with the father of medicine. There is also modern scientific research that shows that good digestion, gut health if you like, has a correlation with good mental health. Eat well and feel well. That seems way too simple doesn't it? But there is scientific research that backs this up - who can argue with the father of medicine Hippocrates.

Mindfulness can be used with any diet plan, but should be seen as a way of life, a "manner of living" if you like rather than a short term fix. Mindfulness is an empowering approach with results that are grounded in science. For example, researchers have found that mindfulness can help regulate plasma glucose levels, partly because those who are mindful tend to have a healthier weight. Mindful people are also more likely to believe they can change many of the important aspects of their life.

Diet doesn't mean never eating what you like to eat. As an example if I told you that there was a cake that had 1/2 the fat, 1/2 the sugar and 1/2 the calories of other cake. It tasted exactly the same, smelt the same what would you say? I would imagine you would say where can I buy it and can I have two. You don't believe that this cake exists do you? Well it does and it has a very simple name. It is called 1/2 a cake. This can be used on any food item, I used cake for this example because I love cake lol. I still eat cake and I have lost 3 stone doing so, I just eat less of it.

 

We don't eat the wrong things we eat too much of them. Mindfulness allows you to make choices and appreciate each mouthful.

Mindful Eating

Slow down, pause, and be in the present moment, take a deep breath. This allows you to better recognise hunger signals, and reduce out-of-control binges. Mindful eating helps you to pay attention to the smell, taste, temperature, and texture of the food. 

Four Steps

1. Sit down at a table and give yourself time to eat. A bit like in the old days with the family all sitting down together. Dinner time used to be an event, rather that an item on a to do list. Sit down and enjoy your food without distractions. Stop multitasking when eating, turn off the TV, game station  and yes all phones as well. This will allow you to be more relaxed and focused on the act of eating and enjoying your food.

2. Eat slowly and savour your food. As you enjoy your food, take time to savour it, enjoy the flavours, and chew well. Your brain needs time to register that you are eating to communicate to your body when you are full and satisfied. Pausing between bites and chewing thoroughly allows you to taste your food more fully, and notice when you are full before becoming overly full.

3. Make eating a sensory experience. Mindfulness can transform your meal into a more vibrant experience. There are many aspects of your food to appreciate, including the colours, textures, and aromas. Take the time to relish the sensory experience of eating.

4. Be your own hunger expert. Instead of searching for the answers from outside experts, get in touch with your body’s needs. This will help tell you what food and how much your body truly needs instead of how much you think you should be eating. You are your best expert, and only your body can tell you what and how much you need to consume.

More information here about mindfulness.

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