Editor’s Note: This article was contributed by Nicole Newcomb, MHC-P, Explore What’s Next psychotherapist.
Did you give up your favorite food for the New Year?
Weight loss experts say, “Don’t throw out that chocolate!” Eat in slow motion instead!
Slowing down our pace of eating, increasing the number of chews and noticing everything we can about our food is called eating mindfully. Believe it or not, it can help you with weight loss.
Studies have shown that the slower you eat, the less you eat and the more mindfully you eat the more satisfied you are. So you don’t give up your favorite food totally! Eat it mindfully and satisfy your sweet tooth with just a few bites! Imagine this….
You open the candy so slowly and notice the blue, shiny wrapper and the ridges of each wrinkle between your fingers. You notice the crinkling sound it makes as you start to peel back the corners. The aroma of sweet chocolate begins to fill your nostrils and your mouth starts to water ever so slightly. You begin thinking that tomorrow you start your crazy New Years Resolution diet so you better make this count! Refocusing you thoughts to the chocolate, you notice each corner of the creamy, smooth chocolate in your hand as it starts to melt. You become excited! As you bring it to your mouth, the aroma grows stronger and you begin anticipating its sweet taste. You put the chocolate in your mouth and smile as you begin to chew ever so slowly, noticing how your teeth sink into the smooth chunks of chocolate. You never want this sensation to leave your mouth so you sit with it until every last morsel has vanished. The reward is phenomenal and you think to yourself “this is the best piece of chocolate I have ever had.” At this point you do not want another because you are more than satisfied. And it’s a good thing because it was the last one!
So the next time you sit down to eat anything, especially something you think is sinful, like the fine chocolate your well-meaning boyfriend gave you for Christmas, try out these tips below and notice the difference it makes in your appetite and satisfaction.The slower you make this process and the more detailed in your awareness, the better the exercise!
How to Eat Mindfully:
1) Do not touch whatever it is you are about to eat! Just notice what it looks like and what it smells like from a far.
2) Pick up the item without bringing it to your mouth. Notice what it feels like in your hands or looks like on your fork. Describe it to yourself in great detail. All the way down to the sponginess of the bread and the sesame seeds on top. Notice the different shades of red on the tomato.
3) Now bring the item closer to your mouth and notice the smells. It may have more than one aroma so find every smell!
4) Now take a bite and begin chewing as slowly as you can. Pretend it is a contest of who can chew the longest! Now taste each flavor from the acidity in the tomato to the grease in the burger.
5) In the same bite, (yes I am asking you to still be chewing the same bite!) notice how it feels against your tongue and teeth.
6) Ask yourself what do you hear? You may hear the crunching of the lettuce. Don’t let this bite go until you know everything about it!
7) Repeat with every bite and every sip of your drink until you notice your stomach is full.
It is not always easy to find the time to sit down and eat mindfully. I know I find it hard sometimes. But when I do take the time, it is always worth it!
Photo courtesy of cupprof
Ten weeks ago I was put on prednisone to treat a relapse of nephrotic syndrome. Ten weeks ago I weighed about 145 pounds (I’m 5′ 2″) and was lamenting (whining?) about how hard it was to lose those last five lousy pounds.
How I long for those days!!! Since being on the prednisone I have gained close to twenty pounds. That’s up two dress sizes in two months. I am not here to bitch and moan, although it kind of looks like I am. I would not insult you like that! Many, many people have much worse health problems than I do and more difficult weight issues than I do. It’s not the degree that’s important. It’s that we all have more in common in our pain and discomfort than not.
On another day I will write about how we reflect on our own story in comparison with other’s, the good and the bad about it, when doing so uplifts us and when it only makes us feel worse. But that’s not for today.
Today is for anyone out there who not only struggles with weight, but struggles with weight on medication that tries its hardest to make you pack the pounds.
Because how we look does make a difference in our self-esteem. As much as I sincerely love and try to practice the “I love the inner me” message, I also like how I looked and felt in a size 8 pencil skirt.
On another day I will write about acceptance. Meaning, there’s been a shitload of ‘nothing I can about it so I better learn live with it in serenity ’cause getting mad just makes it all worse.’ But that’s not for today, either.
Today is meant to inspire us to do what we can to stay in control when the weight-gain undertow is pulling us out to sea.
As much as we hate prednisone, we are grateful for it. We take prednisone for the treatment of inflammation, asthma, arthritis of all kinds, inflammatory bowel disease, sarcoidodis, lupus, kidney disease, skin problems, allergies and more. Without it we would be dealing with a heck of a lot more discomfort than extra poundage.Read More...
We give ourselves the day ‘Off’ from watching every calorie. One day of eating whatever you want, especially when the holiday is dedicated to gobbling all your favorite foods. What’s the harm?
None, except that who can stop at ONE DAY? What about those delicious leftovers? What about cooking your college student son’s favorites? What about those leftovers? Did I say that already?
The Monday after Thanksgiving is where I draw the line, or try to anyway. Back to recording food in my online journal, back to weighing myself (ouch!), back to the work of eating right to lose weight.
But, there are benefits to the work! Back to feeling more energetic! Back to feeling more comfortable in my jeans! Back to feeling proud because I’m doing something good for myself that has long term benefits!
I totally enjoyed the culinary delights of Thanksgiving and look forward to doing the same for Christmas. I know deep down that the enjoyment is more intense because those days are the exception, not the rule. If food indulgence is the norm then there are no treats! How boring would that be?
Here’s Janice Taylor, Our Lady of Weight Loss, sharing her thoughts on how to get back on the weight loss wagon fast!