Does mindful eating hold the key to why you struggle to lose weight?
Mindful eating, it sounds a bit hippy ,but don't let it fool you.
It is so not.
Far from it.
Mindful eating is just eating with the intention of eating.
Mindful eating is simply allowing your body to do what it was designed to do, in a peaceful and calm environment.
This stress free environment of mindful eating provides the perfect place for you body to go about all its behind the scenes jobs (ie the proper stimulation of enzymes and signals so it can do a good job.
In the absence of mindfulness, ie mindlessness, often brought about when you are stressed, busy, or not allowing your brain time to register you are eat, these hormones are either produced in inadequate quantities or in some cases not at all.
And that is when things get tricky.
The gut and brain are intrinsically linked together. They must be allowed to "speak" to each other in order to trigger the correct chemicals to deal with food. When this relationship isn't nurtured, then things go wrong.
For us Mums this is not great, but it is also a relief as to why many of us struggle with weight loss and experience other digestive issues.
By nurturing this relationship, through mindful eating, the correct signals and biochemicals can be triggered, resulting in a better health.
I know it is not easy, especially if you in the habit of doing it all on the go. But you can do it.
Let's start simple.
How many of these are you guilty of, on a regular basis? Let's say daily or weekly?
- Nibbling your breakfast on the walk to work?
- Snacking whilst driving?
- Lunching at your work desk while you work?
- Having dinner while you watch your favourite TV program
If its hardly ever, you are doing pretty good. Well done you.
If not, then you will definitely benefit from eating more mindfully. Nothing too complex, just being more aware of how you should be eating.
You may think it is too difficult. But really. If it get's you to lose weight and gain a host of health benefits, then isn't it worth it?
Your struggles with weight could be that simple. not to mention other symptoms including:
- IBS like symptoms
Just the act of sitting down, could actually help you lose weight? Yes, it is true (to an extent).
Start by noticing how you eat and how you feel and literally notice when you put food in your mouth. It could be more often than you think. This lifestyle journal will help you keep track.
Something I see often is Mothers that consume the same calories of a full meal just by nibbling when prepping dinner. Only to then go and eat a meal again. Essential eating 2 meals in 1 sitting. That can easily add an extra kilo of weight per week.
Mindful eating is just eating with intention, focus and purpose.
When you are eating, ask yourself why?
- to keep your mouth busy?
- to pass time
- because the food is there
- because you are stressed
- to sweeten a difficult problem
- as a way of avoiding that pile of bills you have to pay
Contrast this to when you are sat at a table, eating with a real knife and fork and actually focussing on the act of eating! Sounds simple, which makes it even more mind blowing how effective it can be when you take charge.
When you are focussing on eating, you are more likely to chew properly, actually tasting your food, triggering physiological processes to start proper digestion and sending the correct signals to your brain to register satiety.
This can be the difference between eating a whole litre or ice-cream versus eating just one scoop and being satisfied. Eating all that ice cream is never going to be key to weight loss or wellness, no matter how delicious it tastes.
When you eat I want you to start paying attention to actually eating.
The next time you eat, adopt some rules to promote proper chewing and digestion and prevent overeating. There are some simple rules below, but you will notice others unique to you, that are cues to causing you to mindless overeating.
The key lies in simply NOTICING!
- Sit down.
- Eat without distraction (no tv, checking facebook, emails).
- Chew you food properly
- Take your time, don't rush
The next time you eat, make an intention to follow super simple rules (great for the kids too)
The key in all this wellness palarava can be found in simply noticing.
As Mothers it can seem like we are always on the go, and quite honestly have zero time to give to something as meaningless as eating. Yet, when we feed our kids we recognise how important it is right?
Once start noticing one thing, you will notice a myriad of other habits + behaviours that can revolutionise your wellbeing.
Yours in wellness + Motherhood with a capital M