Being mindful, paradoxically, is more likely when you are dieting or on a cleanse, as you pay more attention to how your body feels and the food you are eating than when you’re not on a diet. When dieting, you might notice you’re feeling jittery, hyped, hungry, or tired. You might notice the pre-packaged food is tasty or tasteless, salty or needs some, filling or not. You might notice how food smells more now and find you can’t eat it. You might notice how often you think to grab for a handful of something now that you are on a 3 meal a day plan. You notice the hunger.
Noticing what is occurring as it occurs is the hallmark of a mindful approach to anything, including eating.
When you go off the diet and back to your normal routines you no longer notice these things. They vanish from your thoughts because you stopped paying attention to aspects of eating such as taste, texture and smell, bodily sensations of hunger or fullness, enjoyment that can only come with experiencing the food at the time you are eating it gets lost when done without noticing the food in your mouth, not to mention the portions of what you just ate.
Have you ever eaten a bag of chips or cookies only to not realize you were eating until the bag was empty? Most of us have. More than once. This is referred to as mindless eating.
Keep in mind that being mindful means paying attention to your senses and food and body sensations as you eat, as well as when you shop for and prepare your food, eat out or socially, and how you feel during and after you have eaten.
Being in a state of mindfulness before eating will inform your busy mind that you are in fact eating, what size portion you are hungry for, and how it tastes and how much you’re consuming as you go along. You’ll have the open space in your mind to notice when you are feeling fuller or full.
It takes 20 minutes, a long time, in our instant gratification society, for the hormones in your brain and stomach to communicate that you are full. When you slow down along with paying attention, miracles happen on their own. Translation, you eat less and enjoy it more.
Paying attention is the point of power between being in control of food and eating, and food and eating being in control of you. What you are aware of is where you have power and therefore can exert control. You have none at all otherwise.
Enjoy your life today!
Kimberly Wulfert, PhD is the creator of the Weight Loss MAP to Freedom mentoring program for women who want to lose weight to keep it off for life without dieting, pills or surgery.
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