The results of an experiment conducted by a team of researchers at UC San Francisco suggest mindful eating and meditation are factors in helping people control their junk food cravings and lose weight. “By recognizing what you are feeling before you act [eat] you have a greater chance of making a wiser decision,” claims researcher Jennifer Daubenmier.
Dr. Catherine Kerr, a meditation expert at Brown University responded to the findings of this study by saying it was consistent with several other brain studies that suggest mindfulness brings about changes to the part of the brain responsible for food cravings. She further explained that mindful eating and meditation actually rewire the brain to tune into the body in a healthier way.
If you are skeptical because you find it hard to believe that just sitting quietly in meditation is going to melt the pounds from your hips, why don’t you give it a try?
Before a meal, take at least 10 minutes to sit in a comfortable position, free from distractions like the computer or telephone. Close your eyes and pay attention to sensations throughout your body. Perhaps you are very hungry, and you feel your stomach growling as it pines for nourishment. Be present with the sensations that you are feeling and resist the temptation to give in to any one of them. If you find yourself craving a heaping bowl of mashed potatoes and gravy, instead of going for it, get familiar with how it feels to crave them, without trying to change those feelings. Accepting how you feel without resistance is very important. This will help you avoid succumbing to your cravings so you can realize your weight loss goals.
After completing this simple 10-minute meditation practice, you should be feeling a bit more relaxed, calm and content, and have your cravings under control.
Mindful Eating Practice
Now, when you are ready to eat your meal, do so in a slow and controlled manner. Notice all of the flavors, smells and textures in your food while you savor every bite. Pause for a moment and look at your food. Appreciate the time and efforts of the farmers, delivery truck drivers or grocery store shelf stockers it took to get your food to your plate. Feel grateful to have such healthy food to eat and enjoy. Trust you are nourishing your body in the best, most caring way for your health, vitality and attainment of your goal to lose weight.
December 22nd, 2011