Did you overindulge this Holiday season? No worries, January 1st is often the time where most of us make positive changes in our lives – a clean slate. I can't think of a better time to host a giveaway for this awesome book Eating Mindfully.
FIVE lucky winners will have a chance to win!
Susan Albers Psy.D. is a psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic Family Health Center who specializes in eating issues, weight loss, body image concerns and mindfulness, and the author of the awesome book Eating Mindfully: How to End Mindless Eating and Enjoy a Balanced Relationship with Food. Do you need to eat mindfully? I talked to Dr. Albers to find out!
Why is eating mindfully important for someone who is trying to eat healthy or lose weight?
Mindful eating is different than a diet. It's a radically new, clinically proven approach to healthier eating. You don’t have to cut out any particular food groups. It’s a way of eating. If you are losing weight, mindful eating can help you in a lot of real life situations. For example, if you are at a birthday party, you might not be able to turn down the cake. But, what you can do is to eat it mindfully--eat a small piece, slowly, savoring it instead of overeating it.
What are the benefits of becoming a mindful eater?
Mindful eating has been shown in studies to help people lose and manage and/or lose weight. In a study on women who frequently ate out at restaurants, learning mindful eating skills helped them to cut about 300 calories a day. And, these women were still eating out at restaurants! Therefore, it’s a skill that helps us to live our normal, everyday lives and still lose weight.
How long does it take someone to become a more mindful eater?
Mindful eating is about shifting your mindset—so in some ways, this is easy to learn and only takes a few minutes to grasp the concept. What does take some time, however, is putting it into practice. As people, we are very repetitive and fall back into routines. When stressed, we tend to shift into autopilot and shut off the mindfulness. So, staying mindful can be a challenge. The good news is that once you become a mindful eating, you can spot very easily and quickly (before it is too late and you’ve mindlessly eat a bag of chips) and get back on track right away.
Why is eating mindfully a better idea than going "on" a diet?
Mindful eating is a long term approach that you can apply it to any style of eating—if you are vegetarian, vegan, a meat eater, eat gulten free or like a particular type of ethnic food. Thus, it's flexible and adaptable to the REAL way that you eat. This approach helps to eliminate the "all or nothing effect"—either I’m doing it perfectly or I’ve blown it so I might as well go all the way and ruin it! Mindful eating is something you can do for the rest of your life—it is not something you go on and off like a diet.
What are you top 5 tips for becoming a mindful eater?
Remember the “s” of mindful eating
1) Slow down—pace yourself. Intentionally tell yourself to slow down. Try eating with your non -dominate hand. This can help stop the automatic hand to mouth flow. A recent study showed you can reduce how much you eat by 30% by doing this simple change.
2) Sit down—You’d be amazed at how often you are walking around or multitasking while you eat. Make a deal with yourself to only eat while sitting. Remember when you eat, just eat. Set aside your computer. Shut your book. Studies show that people eat less when their attention isn't divided between eating and another task.
3) Savor—Make sure to keep your mind in this bite, before moving onto the next one. People are often anticipating or thinking about the next bite before you finish the one you have.
4) Smell—and use all of your senses. Ask yourself how this food feels on your fingers (ex. Fries can feel pretty greasy when you really tune into it), take a deep whiff of it. Smell helps to add to our enjoyment and the taste. Inhaling the aroma can bump up the satisfaction level.
5) Satiate—focus on healthy foods that make you feel fuller. Fiber filled foods and those filled with water help you to feel fuller longer (the Skinnytaste site can help you find these foods!).
Should people who use Weight Watchers also eat mindfully?
My answer is "yes, definitely!" Any program or system that helps you to be more aware of how much you are eating may fit the definition of mindful eating. Sometimes the piece of mindful eating that is missing with Weight Watchers is the aspect of non-judgment. The points may make someone more aware, but they may still berating themselves when they eat or are judging themselves for how many points they acquired in a day. The harsh inner critic actually makes the situation worse and it leads to cycle of guilt and comfort eating. So, if you use the point system, be sure to use mindfulness by adding in an element of non-judgment and acceptance (It's okay, it's not the end of the world if I slipped up). See more about how to do this in the book, Eating Mindfully. Non-judgment helps us to be more honest with ourselves and compassionate. Feeling good about yourself rather than feeling bad and guilty is what really motivates change and weight loss.
HOW TO ENTER TO WIN:
Leave a comment here on Skinny Bits and
tell me what what positive changes you are making for 2013. Be sure to include an
email or a way for me to contact you if
you win. That's it!
For a second chance to win, tweet or share the following on Facebook and leave a second comment here letting me know you did:
Enter to win a copy of Eating Mindfully: How to End Mindless Eating and Enjoy a Balanced Relationship with Food via @skinnytaste http://su.pr/21Skt9
Giveaway is provided by Susan Albers Psy.D. and will run until Friday, January 4th,
2013, open to all U.S. and Canadian residents 18 years and older. Winners will be
chosen at random using Random.org. Chosen winners must respond within 48
hours of notification to claim their prize or another shall be chosen.