“After I eat anything, even a snack, I feel heavy…I feel fat” .
A lot of us have been there, aren’t we? How does mindful eating helps reduce that ‘fat’ feeling and even reduce fat? Does mindful eating means no dieting? What about weighing food, counting calories, worrying about body size? What is mindful eating?
Like many people we work with, Alok (name changed for client confidentiality) had tried various diets. You name it and he has tried it. He knew a lot about nutrition. A lot! But emotionally he sought refuge in food. A lot of us do the same. After lot of cajoling he grudgingly decided to try mindful eating. After a few hiccups for a month, he got a hang of mindful eating. Slowly and steadily the results started showing up. The inches started dropping and the weighing scale was happier. There was no change in the food that he ate (he even had his pint of beer in the weekends!). There was no change in his exercise schedule. What gives???
Mindful eating is not sitting in lotus position, saying a mantra and eating like a hermit. Mindful eating is about:
· Being ” in the present moment”
· Using our body cues to guide us in when, what and how much to eat to feel satisfied
· Eating when you are hungry
· Stopping when you are satisfied. Not when you are full to your throat
· Enjoying the texture, the flavor, the fragrance and the sight of the food.
Eating mindfully not only helps you to eat the appropriate amount, it significantly enhances the pleasure of the dining experience. Here’s why (the nerdy science part of it- a small part of it)?
The stomach produces the hormone ghrelin, which helps produce hunger pangs. A different hormone, PYY (Peptide Tyrosine Tyrosine), is responsible for making a person feel full.
However, PYY is not excreted by the stomach. Instead, it is released by a section of the small intestine called the ileum. The hormone is not released until food reaches the ileum, which typically takes about 20 minutes after a person starts eating. Eating mindfully and slowly gives food a chance to reach the small intestines and trigger PYY, helping to prevent overeating.
Next time take your time to enjoy the aloo paratha, idli sambar , macher jhol bhaat.
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Pic credit: workouttrends.com