Tag Archives: mindful eating

mindful eating

Mindful Eating: How to Stay on Track During the Holidays

One the most common questions we get is how to stay on track during the holidays. Easter is right around the corner and a lot of you are worried that you’re going to fall off the weight loss wagon. Whether it’s the strong temptation of the food that’s offered or peer pressure from other attendees who aren’t as supportive of your lifestyle as you’d like, we get it. So we wanted to arm you with some mindful eating tips to get through this holiday or any holiday or event that you have coming up.

1. Forget about Cleaning Your Plate

From a young age, we’re taught to clear everything off of our plates. We may have been told not to waste food, or that there are starving children in other parts of the world that would love a hot meal. While the sentiment behind these statements is supposed to be a positive one, they can backfire. We carry these ideas into adulthood and have a tendency to eat every bite of food on our plates, even if we’re full halfway through our meal. We’re not encouraging you to waste food, but instead of over-stuffing yourself, take leftovers home. If you can’t take leftovers with you, it’s okay to leave some food on your plate. Listen to your body and the signals that tell you you’re full – and honor those signals.

2. Opt for Smaller Plates

It may be a trick of the mind, but smaller plates can help with portion control. When we’re holding a plate, we tend to fill it, especially in a buffet-style situation. A large plate means more food than a smaller plate. When you’re at a dinner party or a restaurant where you’re filling your own plate, opt for a salad or appetizer plate. You can go back for seconds if you’re still hungry, but give yourself some time to allow your food to settle.

3. Put Utensils Down Between Bites

Today’s modern world is “go, go, go”. We tend to rush through our entire day – and eating is no different. Next time you sit down for a meal, take a breath and slow down. Put your fork down between bites and chew slowly. Be mindful of what you’re eating.

4. Pay Attention

When was the last time you paid attention to the texture of the food you were eating? The crunch of almonds in your mouth, the creaminess of your salad dressing, and the coolness of a bite of avocado often go unnoticed when you’re rushing through your meal to get to the next moment. Make it a point to pay attention, not just to the flavor of your food, but to the whole experience. Eating a meal is supposed to be pleasurable. Take it all in.

 5. Sit Down

In the holiday setting, especially at holiday parties and work events, there is a tendency to stand around with appetizer plates, or to grab an hors d’oeuvres as a server walks by, and quickly eat it while you continue on with your conversation. Instead, try to make it a point to put a small plate together and sit down while you eat. This forces you to pay more attention and slow down. If you want to keep your hands busy while you’re walking around mingling, ask for a soda water with a splash of fresh cranberry juice and a squeeze of lime and sip it slowly.

meditation

Emotions and Weight Loss: How Meditation Can Help You Shed Pounds

When it comes to weight loss, diet and exercise get most of the credit. However, according to research, the key player in the game is actually psychological well-being. When you embark on a weight loss journey, learning to manage emotions and develop a healthy relationship with food isn’t always at the forefront, but maybe it should be. Now, we know what you’re thinking: well, all of that is great, but how do I achieve this psychological well-being? How do I stay present in the moment so that I can enjoy my food and listen to my body’s internal cues? The answer is actually quite simple: meditation.

The Research

Although there is still a lot of research to be done, a survey published by the healthcare network Orlando Health reported that successful weight loss is dependent on management of emotions and psychological well-being more than other any factors. However, 90 percent of the survey participants weren’t even aware of the importance of a positive mental state. Most gave all of the credit to diet and exercise.

Another study done by researchers at Cornell University looked at why some people seem to maintain a healthy weight all their lives, while others struggle. The study, which was published in 2016, reported that the leading three reasons were taking pleasure in food, listening to the body’s internal cues, and lack of guilt after eating. Yet another study out of the Brown University Public School of Health found people who pay more attention to the present and their current thoughts and feelings had lower levels of abdominal fat and were less likely to become obese.

How to Meditate

Although the word can be intimidating for some, meditation is simply the practice of focusing your attention on the moment. This results in more calm and clarity.  In addition to increasing psychological well-being, which can in turn lead to weight loss, meditation has also been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep patterns, and reduce chronic pain.

It does take practice, but the good news is that there’s no real right or wrong way to do it. If you’re new to meditation, try this:

  1. Find a quiet spot where you’ll be free from any distraction for 5 to 15 minutes.
  2. Get into a comfortable position – you can sit, stand, lie down, or even walk. It’s completely up to you.
  3. Find a point of focus. Many people choose to focus only on their breathing. Feel the breath as it comes in and then goes out. Take note of any tension in your body and relax any areas that feel tight.
  4. Be still.

You can also try guided meditations if you find it difficult to remain still or focus on your own breathing. There are many available for free on YouTube that range from 3 minutes to 3 hours.

If you’re new to meditation, the practice may seem a little silly and pointless at first, but trust us. The benefits of meditation extend to all areas of your life. If you combine meditation with the practice of mindful eating, you’ll be on your way to a slimmer waistline in no time.