Take a moment to think about every diet you’ve ever heard of or attempted. If your experiences are like most people’s, the weight is gained back. You get caught up in a cycle of dieting, relapsing and then starting all over again.
The Problem with “Eat, Sleep, Repent”
This is the same cycle that leaves us feeling guilty after each piece of candy or fried food. We try so hard to count calories, balance our meals and strive for perfection, but these rigid plans aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.
Yes, they may work in the short-term. Perhaps those moments of deprivation, restriction and uncompromising willpower led to a few pounds shaved off the scale. You’re looking good, feeling confident and ready to take the next step.
But what about the long-term? These kinds of diets usually lead to weight regain later on down the road. How come? It’s because they change what and how much you eat, but they don’t change why and how we eat.
How You Can Break the Cycle
You’re going to hear this term again — mindful eating. This means paying attention to your internal and external world on purpose and without judgement.
Eating is a natural process. We eat to nourish our bodies and get energy, and it’s not something you should feel ashamed about. If you’re caught in the “eat, sleep, repent” cycle, consider these tips for breaking the habit:
Ask Yourself Why You’re Eating.
Is it because you’re hungry or because you’re bored? What about some other trigger? If you’re not truly hungry, knowing this may help you to put down the fork in favor of some other activity instead.
Carefully Decide What to Eat.
You should be able to find a balance between what’s good for your body and what you want to eat. This might involve finding healthier alternatives to your favorite foods so that you don’t feel deprived. If you struggle to love what to eat, try preparing your own food and customizing the flavor.
Make Eating a Pleasant Experience
Turn off the television and focus on your food. Maybe you set the table nicely, light candles or turn on some music. When you eat with other kinds of distractions, it’s easy to get unfocused and consume too much.
Set Your Intention Early
Know what and how much you’ll eat before you actually begin eating. This will help you decide what to cook or order, and how much to put on your plate or box up as leftovers.
Don’t go into a meal feeling like you’re in a frenzy. Stop, take a deep breath and center yourself. This will help you accomplish all of the steps above and feel gratitude for the food you’re about to eat.
Listen to Your Body While Eating
If you’re beginning to get full, set your fork down. Box up what’s left on your plate and save it for when you’re hungry again. Are you thirsty? Take a few sips of water to stay hydrated and balance your appetite. Your body’s signals are there to keep you healthy and happy.
Want More Information about Mindful Eating?
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