Part 5 of Five Changes to Lose 40 Pounds
Have you ever attempted a diet only to fail after a short period? The problem with “diet” is the temporary nature of the approach. For most of us, it represents a short fix to a weight issue or goal, a short-term shift in our way of eating. We MUST change our perspective on the food we WANT to put into our body for long lasting results! We accomplish this through mindful eating.
First, we MUST change our perspective on food. We do this by discovering the reason WHY we are deciding to eat (and live) mindfully. In the Mindful Performance Course I teach, the FIRST activity we go through is finding our WHY! We ask ourselves why we are making the change, repeatedly, until the answers surprise us with the high charge of emotion. This exercise uncovers deeply emotional reasons to stay on track and make the shift necessary to see the food we put in our body mindfully.
What is mindful eating? It is a continual AWARENESS of the food we put in our body. The ways to eat to accomplish specific physical, mental and spiritual goals seem endless. However, here are a few basics I always share with my coaching clients and classes.
- Add veggies to each meal (focus on adding health instead of eliminating what you can’t have)
- Include lean sources of protein in each meal
- Drink more water
- Cut out processed foods (i.e. sugar, artificial preservatives, harmful chemicals)
The benefits of mindful eating are numerous and unless you live under a rock, you know most of them by now. Heart and cardiovascular health along with a healthy weight are the most common. Do you know that eighty percent of our weight is due to the food put into our body?! Work out all you want but if you are not eating the right foods, you will not attain your goals.
Not only are the right foods key, but also the quality of the food you eat affects many things in your body. You will notice this when you eat sugar rich foods with a quick burst of energy, possibly euphoria and then a big drop in motivation and level of alertness. This may seem nominal at first. However when you consider that the brain, which weighs a mere 3 pounds, utilizes 20% of the energy consumed by the entire body you realize the direct connection between the quality of your food and your ability to function at a high level! This energy forms your thoughts, emotions and formalizes your responses (or reactions) within your entire life!
Our choice of food helps determine what our body signals us to eat at our next snack or meal. Foods high in carbohydrates cause our body to crave the same type of foods sooner than we should! Choosing higher protein and complex carbs help our body maintain a consistent glycemic index, which allows us to fend off cravings for unhealthy carbs.
As mentioned above, the number of ways to eat mindfully are numerous enough to be overwhelming. In addition, the media bombards us with new studies on healthy eating that contradict the previous diet or health finding before. To cut through this we must realize that the food industry funds many of these studies and that a whopping 90% of the studies help promote the studies sponsor! This article from NPR highlights the blatant manipulation of the facts and how over 50 years ago the sugar industry manipulated the research to blame fat, instead of sugar, in heart disease.
My recommendation to combat this is to stick to the basics above when it comes to eating. If a new way of eating appeals to you, look at the research before you experiment with it for yourself. Explore ways of eating, listen to your body, track calories or keep a food journal to accomplish specific goals. If you seek, you will find that sugar is the culprit for many of our struggles with health. Decades have been spent blaming fat for these struggles but sugar is the true cause of obesity, heart disease and most of our challenges.
Call to Action
Take the time to write out your goal around eating. Ask yourself why you want to accomplish this goal and write that down. Repeat this until you unearth the true reason for eating mindfully. Expect to find a deep and potentially unexpectedly powerful reason laying four or five layers below your initial goal. This will fuel your passion for becoming mindful. Take advantage of this new motivation and inspect your breakfast as a starting point. Experiment for two weeks with healthy changes to this one meal and track your results. You will be amazed at the results!
My intention is to coach those who seek creative ways to unlock natural serenity, balance and mindfulness in their lives. To help them discover true fulfillment and happiness.
I am passionate about working with open-minded individuals who are ready to make sustainable changes by committing to a conscious lifestyle that naturally enhances their performance. Contact me to schedule a free “Mindful Performance” Coaching session.
My life has completely changed since starting my meditation practice at the end of 2012. I have lost 40 pounds and kept it off. My relationships have improved with everyone in my life. I am more compassionate, loving, understanding and patient than I ever thought possible. I am now a certified health coach and have spoken internationally in front of audiences of hundreds of people regarding my experience with meditation and focused attention and have attended over 250 hours of lecture and practice on the physics and neuroscience regarding the effects of advanced meditation.
During this personal journey, my passion for teaching emerged and I have trained hundreds in basic meditation techniques, life balance & self-appreciation. Read more here.