By Lynn Rossy, Ph,D, TCME Board President
Getting ready for your obligatory diet in January? Well, I have an alternative for you that I think you’ll like better. Even if you ate more than you usually do during the holidays (which is true for most of us and for good reason!), there is a much better way to approach January than a diet. The approach is called mindful eating and let me tell you why you should give it a try.
This review article published in the Archives of Scientific Psychology makes it very clear that going on a diet might result in a few pounds lost, but those pounds will be regained, and often even more. Through a complicated process, the body has a way of finding a certain weight range that it’s comfortable in and it works to maintain that range.
The good news is that, contrary to much of the press, being in a larger body does not automatically mean that you are less healthy. Aphramor (2010), who extensively reviews the literature, writes that the belief that weight loss, even if minimal, is related to improvements in health, is not valid and is not substantiated. In addition, weight loss efforts can result in a wide range of eating disorders. And, “yo-yo dieting” where you lose and gain weight over and over again, is related to heart disease, bone density loss, and all-cause mortality (coronary mortality, in particular), as well as a growing number of other health conditions.
As a much kinder and joyous alternative, mindful eating provides a way of eating that allows you to relish in one of the greatest pleasures of life—eating without judgment. Instead of restricting, mindful eaters know they can have whatever they want to eat so they are less likely to find themselves overeating and then feeling guilty. You train to be aware of your body’s wisdom about what it wants, how much it wants, and when to start and stop eating. You train to be aware of the other needs the body has and you take care of them as well.
Having taught mindful eating for thirteen years, I can say with conviction that mindful eating changes the way you eat and the way that you feel about your body so that you feel nourished and supported. The focus is not on weight, but wellbeing. Wellbeing is a state of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual attunement, and mindful eating is one of the practices that creates harmony in your body and life.
Start your 2020 in community with people around the world who will be coming together for World Mindful Eating Month, sponsored by The Center for Mindful Eating. This year’s theme is “Growing your Mindful Eating Practice by Planting the Seeds of Self-Compassion.” We are offering a FREE guided Mindful Eating Program for the whole month of January. You can sign up here.
When you learn to develop loving-kindness toward yourself, your approach to eating will reflect your growing friendship with your body, mind, and heart. Eating is not just a personal act, but an act of love for yourself, your community and the world.
Join us for Mindful Eating Month and give up diets forever!
Aphramor, L. (2010). Validity of claims made in weight management research: A narrative review of dietetic articles. Nutrition Journal, 9, 1–9. http://dx .doi.org/10.1186/1475-2891-9-30.
Rothblum, E. (2018). Slim chance for permanent weight loss. Archives of Scientific Psychology, 6, 63–69. https://doi.org/ 10.1037/arc0000043
Originally published at https://www.lynnrossy.com/world-mindful-eating-month-free-sign-up-now/