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How To Lose Weight Through Mindful Eating

By Michael Locklear
It is estimated that up to ninety percent of overweight and obese people are emotional eaters. Here's how to lose weight through mindful eating and overcome emotional eating. Emotional eating is a negative coping response to soothe or suppress negative emotions such as fear, guilt, anger, depression, loneliness, boredom, anxiety, frustration, stress, problems with interpersonal relationships, and low self-esteem. Your response to these stressors becomes impulsive eating or binge eating. The habit of emotional eating can become so automatic that you overeat whenever you get stressed or angry, without realizing what you're doing.

We are trained early on to believe that food can bring comfort. The overeating response prevents us from learning effective coping skills that would resolve emotional distress. When we eat because we are hungry, our healthy brain tells us to stop eating when we are full. Emotional eating reinforces feelings of guilt and shame, which add to the distress causing you to overeat in the first place. This leads to a habitual cycle of emotional overeating that includes beating yourself up about it, feeling worse, and repeating the cycle.

Mindfulness is defined by researchers at the National Institutes of Health as having a non-judgmental awareness of physical and emotional sensations. It allows you to become aware of all of your thoughts and sensations, and of the feelings of both your mind and body. When applied to eating, you stop participating in stress-related emotional eating behaviors. Mindful eating can help you combat psychological challenges like stress, anxiety and depression and physical threats such as heart disease, obesity and eating disorders. People who eat mindfully are far less likely to be obese, according to researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Being mindful increases your awareness of what is happening around you, and helps you to focus on which emotions are causing you to eat. This practice changes your eating habits, as you become more aware of why you're eating and the volume of food you eat. Start by focusing on each food before you eat it. Appreciate it for being what it is and be thankful for the nourishment it provides you. Mindful eating will help you train your mind and body to work together.

Calorie Restriction

Caloric restriction is the only guaranteed way to lose weight effectively. Seventy years of research since the first study in 1935 by scientist Clive McCay of Cornell University found that a calorie-restricted diet will cause you to lose weight and help you to live up to 30 percent longer. Calorie restriction has been found to extend life expectancy in a wide range of organisms and is the only regimen known to lengthen the lifespan of mammals, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The late Albert Schweitzer of the University of Muenster found that it improves memory, decreases insulin levels, and reduces inflammation. Another study from Washington University found that a calorie-restricted diet may reduce the incidence of heart disease and diabetes.

Restricting calories by drinking water instead of soft drinks helps you lose at least a pound a week. When you cut your food portion sizes in half, you start losing pounds. Fruits and vegetables as a snack provide essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals, and fill you up with complex carbohydrates and fiber. Mindful eating is a major first step in receiving the enormous benefits of calorie restriction. It doesn't matter what you're eating, it's about being conscious of the taste and texture of your food. This helps you avoid eating too much or too little, and helps you to come away feeling completely satisfied. This lifestyle practice helps you to control your weight by focusing on your relationship to your food. It is very effective. When eating mindfully you feel like your life is more balanced and full of joy. It reveals the reasons you make unhealthy food choices, without using any rules or placing any unrealistic expectations on yourself. Learning how to lose weight through mindful eating and calorie restriction, you can take control of your health and your life and enjoy the enormous benefits of thoughtful focus and a healthy personal relationship with yourself. Pay attention and be well.

Michael Locklear is a researcher and consultant with 30 years experience, studying health, nutrition, and human behavior. He has been president of the Global Peace Project since 1986, and he administrates the website www.QuickWeightLossTips.info [http://www.quickweightlosstips.info] as part of the Global Peace Project Educational Outreach Program

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6023666

3 Response to "How To Lose Weight Through Mindful Eating"

Unknown said...

Great post. You know we all think about this very topic.Having huge targets will end up no where. So the best way to reduce weight is trying to reduce 5 pounds first or just 1 1/2 pounds a week. Keep your set out small but good goals.

sanjay said...

nice blog
thanks for sharing information.
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