Everywhere you look you see new diets “guaranteed” to make you lose 10 pounds in two weeks, new exercises “guaranteed” to give you flat abs in a week, new diet pills “guaranteed” to burn fat within minutes and new cooking recipes “guaranteed” to say “bye-bye bloating!” Health trends are seen everywhere, especially in discussions on TV shows like Good Morning America, Dr. Oz and The View; radio talk shows - whether it’s a sponsored message or success story; sponsored ads on your Facebook page; and newsstands with fitness and fashion magazines. But what about the health trends that don’t give you a “guarantee” but actually gives you steps to truly improving your well-being in the long run.
An ancient practice of mindful eating is now becoming a modern trend in 2015. “Mindful eating means choosing foods with deliberate intention, being aware of taste and texture and chewing your food until it’s a paste,” says Joy McCarthy, a Toronto-based certified holistic nutritionist and the bestselling author of Joyous Health. This act will allow your body to be completely satisfied with meals, keeping you full longer. You’ll also be able to control your weight due to the slower earing and the consumption of fewer calories. Eating your food to a paste can also help your body with easy digestion. “Mindful eating allows digestive juices to properly break down food,” says McCarthy. This improved digestion will result in increased energy and optimum nutrient absorption.
However, mindful eating is much more than just eating slowly without distraction. According to Am I Hungry? - a company that specializes in mindful eating and offers programs, training, retreats and resources to help customers implement the initiative in their lives - mindful eating encompasses the entire process of eating. Including:
- Awareness of your physical and emotional cues
- Recognition of your non-hunger triggers for eating
- Learning to meet your other needs in more effective ways than eating
- Choosing food for both enjoyment and nourishment
- Eating for optimal satisfaction and satiety
- Using the fuel you’ve consumed to live the vibrant life you crave
Mindful eating can be used as a powerful tool to developing a healthier relationship with food and can help solve current eating issues. Many people who struggle with food usually are mindless in their way of eating and are not able to differentiate triggers, thoughts and feelings and will usually associate them with eating. Mindfulness may increase awareness of these patterns and can create space between triggers and actions.
A common mistake people make it trying to control hunger triggers and actions through strict dieting, without realizing that they’re going through the motions of yo-yoing, or another form of this concept is called “eat-repent-repeat” cycle. This occurs when a person becomes obsessed with what they eating, counting down calories, fat grams, labeling food as “good” or “bad” and feeling guilty when they indulge on food “unacceptable” to their diet. The guilt may also be triggered when a specific diet calls for eating every three hours, forcing people to eat even when they’re not hungry. This guilt can often open a door to depression which may trigger more eating. Once the depression subsides, motivation to “good eating” starts and the cycle repeats itself when a “bad food” or guilt is reintroduced. Mindful eating diminishes restrictive dieting rules and can help in rediscovering relationships with food.
An act of mindfulness can be as simple as pausing when you feel like eating and asking yourself “Am I hungry?” Here you are able to observe your thoughts and contemplate how you can respond. Most people will reach for the first thing they can munch on as soon as the cravings start, when consequently, they should be first determining if their craving is in itself a craving, or their body signaling for refuel.
These are the questions that the Am I Hungry? program tells you to ask yourself:
Why do I eat? Or in other words, what is driving my eating cycle at any given time?
When do I feel like eating? When do I think about eating? When do I decide to eat?
What do I eat? What do I choose from all the available options?
How do I eat? How, specifically, do I get the food I’ve chosen into my body?
How much do I eat? How much fuel do I consume?
Where do I invest the energy I consume? Where does the fuel I’ve consumed go?
For more information on mindful eating and Am I Hungry? Please visit:
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