Mindful eating

On Friday, I listened to a TED health talk about mindful eating. To see the talk, click on this website: http://www.ted.com/talks/sandra_aamodt_why_dieting_doesn_t_usually_work.  The concept of mindful eating is the concept that you only start eating when you are hungry and stop when you’re full.  Sounds like an easy concept, right? Wrong! (At least for me.) I really enjoy eating.  I love trying new combinations and different cultural cuisines (well, within certain parameters- no weird body parts, and no shellfish because I’m allergic).

If something tastes really good, especially if I’ve gone out to eat and paid for it, I want to just eat it all, no matter how full I feel.  Sometimes, I also feel hungry all the time, and I feel like I have to curb my hunger.  For a long time, I’ve constantly thought about food all day: What do I feel like eating? How long do I have to wait before it’s acceptable to eat something again? Am I eating the right things? Why do I feel hungry all of the time? If so, should I be constantly eating anyway? Why am I not feeling hungry at all? If so, should I force myself to eat anyway? This type of thinking drives me insane.

Sandra Aamodt says that the main reason diets don’t work is because when you’re not dieting, you binge on the forbidden food.  I am experiencing this right now because I am observing Passover.  Even though I do not usually eat lots of bread products, I am constantly craving them because it is forbidden to me right now.  I’m also craving the extra things that are forbidden during Passover, such as corn, beans, lentils, peas, rice, peanuts, and all of their by-products.  The concept that Aamodt is trying to push is to not feel guilty about occasionally eating the dessert.  She’s also not saying to not watch the quality of the food you’re eating.  The concept is to eat healthy, and the occasional dessert in moderation but to let your body dictate portion control.

She also says to eat without any distractions.  That component is difficult for me because when I eat alone, I tend to do things on my iPhone or occasionally read a book.  However, distractions  take your mind away from how hungry or full your body is feeling.  Aamodt also says that integrating these concepts takes a full year to achieve, and I now understand why.  So, in summary, I am trying to integrate these concepts into my own life.  I’m welcome to any thoughts.  Have any nutrition lifestyle changes worked for you.  Comment if you like!

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