This article is about how mindfulness can help you in your health, diet and fitness goals. Each day I find myself trying to eat the right things, trying to fit in exercise and trying to think about what I can do to better my health. These are some of the toughest and most important goals for me, that sometimes I find myself wanting a quick fix or wondering what shortcuts I can take to get there. Well, if you’ve ever tried cutting the corners with health, eating and fitness, goals you already know that it just doesn’t work.
Mindful eating is not a diet. There are no menus or recipes. It’s about being more aware of your eating habits, the sensations you experience when you eat, and the thoughts and emotions that you have about food. It is more about how you eat than what you eat,” says Susan Albers, psychologist and New York Times best-selling author. There are many benefits to a mindful eating approach. You’ll find that you start eating to nourish your body instead of eating for emotional reasons, and you’ll notice when you are full so that you don’t overeat. Do you ever find yourself zoning out and eating as fast as you can because you need to get to that meeting or you “just don’t have time” to eat? Well grazing on food, rushing through your meal and not paying attention to what you’re putting in your body are examples of mindless eating. Continuing these types of behaviors will hinder your health goals.
Mindful eating allows you to enjoy the taste of your food and carefully select what you’re going to put in your body. When you’re mindful about your meals, you’ll notice how food gives your body energy and fuels your mind. Mindful eating also allows you to break bad habits. It makes you stop, think and make deliberate choices instead of automatically falling back on routine behaviors. Just because “that’s the way you’ve always done it” doesn’t make it right. You have the power to change and make better choices. Mindful eating is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle and a healthy way of living. The best part is that these new habits will carry over into other parts of your life.
The same goes for what you drink. Sometimes we reach for that soda because we tell ourselves we’re tired and it’s the only way we’ll get through the day. But if you stop and think, you’ll find you’re smart enough to know soda drains your energy and weighs you down. This is an example of how mindfulness can retrain your brain and disrupt damaging thought patterns.
Be in-the-moment during your next meal. Zone in the next time you’re exercising at the gym and take note of how your body is moving and releasing toxins. Eat the foods you love in a mindful manner, savor the flavor and stop judging yourself.
Give it a shot. I bet you’ll see positive results. I’d love to hear any success stories!