Distractions Don’t Help you Lose Weight

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diet, weight loss, Dr Gary Mendoza, LEAN Man System, mens health, nutrition

Mindful Eating will help you lose weight

Anyone that has tried to lose weight knows that it is far easier to put weight on than it is to get weight off. That 400kcal chocolate bar lasts a few minutes in your mouth before the pleasure it gives you subsides. If you now want to burn these kcal’s off using exercise you are looking at a good hours intense work. This hardly seems like a fair equation but that is the way it works unfortunately. Clearly then the trick to stopping weight gain is to not consume as many calories in the first place, but that is not so easy.

Lose weight by applying mindful eating

A lot of my clients forget foods that they have eaten when they keep food diaries for me. To this end I tell them to keep a scrap of paper on them or use their smart phone to record anything they put in their mouth. The first few weeks of this close self-monitoring is often an eye-opener to them as they don’t realise half the things they eat. This has become known as mindless consumption and trying to recall what you’ve eaten later in the day doesn’t work with this type of eating. One reason this happens is that the hunger cues in the body are far more powerful than you satiety cues, the signals that tell you that you’ve eaten enough. There is a reason for this as it goes back to our early ancestors who had periods of plenty and periods of famine. When there was plenty of food it was advantageous to be able to consume more to build up stores for the famine. In modern society the famine never comes and so instead we have an obesity epidemic.

In order to conquer this overeating issue we need to become mindful of what we are eating. If you want to lose weight then self-monitoring is important. This form of self-monitoring starts with where you consume food. Try to sit at the table in a peaceful environment and eat slowly. Sitting in front of the television doesn’t help weight loss in fact it will lead to weight gain. Your brain is processing visual and audio cues from the TV and so it doesn’t register your eating cues so promptly. Research shows that not only do people overeat when watching the TV; very often they do not remember what they have eaten. This is just one example of mindless eating and I am sure if you look at your own lifestyle you can find other examples through your day. Weight loss requires mindful eating, you need to be aware of what is going in your mouth and most importantly you need to be aware of when you have eaten enough. Do not be afraid to leave something on your plate; in fact view this as a positive step in your weight loss battle. Learning when to stop eating is a skill we need if we are going to control our calorie intake. As a starting point on your weight loss journey get into the habit of always leaving something on your plate. At the start this will feel quite odd, in fact you may be quite uncomfortable with it. Over time you will grow accustomed to this habit and start to better control your intake.

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