Did you know that if you diet by restricting calories, you are more likely to gain weight and remain overweight over time? Restrictive diets don’t work because they don’t address the underlying, emotional experience of eating.
If you really want to lose weight and keep it off forever, you must begin to slow down, notice your body and your food during mealtime, and start to get intentional your experience. It’s step #1 in my practice with my clients. Unfortunately, it’s almost never even mentioned in most diet or weight loss programs – and it sets you up to fail due to no fault of your own.
I read all the medical literature about mindfulness and I’ve just started The Mindful Diet by Ruth Wolever and Beth Readon from Duke Integrative Medicine. They teach their patients a mindful eating practice and there is an amazing success story I’d like to share with you because it so clearly shows the beauty of the practice.
“My pattern for years was to get an egg sandwich and hash browns on the way to work and eat in the car. I looked forward to it and figured I was killing two birds with one stone. When I started paying attention, I noticed that I always had a greasy lump in my stomach all morning – and it dawned on me that a third of my meals were coming from fast food! My biggest realization, though, was that part of taking care of myself was carving out time to prepare healthy food. I’d always thought of “me time” as a pedicure, or going out for drinks with friends, – something that felt indulgent. But getting up twenty minutes earlier to make and eat breakfast turned out to be this amazing thing. I got some quiet time in the house before the kids got, my commute was less frantic, and I felt so much better. The greasy lump disappeared, and I had more energy.”
If would like to give mindful eating a try, a great place to start is to practice eating slowly and stopping when you are 80% full. After you’ve been consistent for a couple of weeks, if you decide you like it, pick another small way to eat more mindfully and give that a try.
Give it a try. And if there’s a way I may be of service, please let me know.