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mindful eating

Practice Meditation and Mindful Eating to Control Cravings and Lose Weight

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?

Meditation Practice

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.

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Learn How to be a More Intuitive Eater

By Lisa Turner for

As obsessed as we are with food and diets, you’d think we’d be thin and healthy by now. So why are we Americans still universally less-than-fit and soft around the middle?

The fact is, diet tips, rules and tricks won’t work if we’re ignoring the mental and emotional side of eating. Why do we still overeat—or eat the wrong things? Most of the time, when we’re craving cookies, we’re really hungry for love, sex, friendship, peace, a sense of purpose and meaning. And when you’re gripped by that kind of hunger, all the tips and tricks in the world won’t save you.

Next time you’re ready to embark on the next fix-me-fast diet, try something different: instead of focusing on the food, tune in to address the emotions that make you stray. Here’s how to start:
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5 Strategies for Beating Mindless Eating

Whether you’re at your computer chomping on a bag of pretzels or watching television shoveling spoonful after spoonful of ice cream into your mouth, mindless munching is one surefire way to pack on the pounds. In fact, just mindlessly eating 100 calories a day, the equivalent of a large apple or a palmful of almonds, can lead to gaining up to 10 pounds in a year.

To prevent this mindless eating weight gain, put into practice these five ways to beat unintentional extra calories.

1. Never get too hungry. The more powerful your stomach growls, the more likely you are to ravenously consume a surge of calories before your body and brain can register that you’ve had enough. Therefore, aim to eat every three to four hours with meals and snacks comprised of healthy carbs, good fats and a lean protein.

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Overeating Blamed on TV Background Noise

This isn’t the first time that someone has suggested that you not eat in front of the television. Generally the reasoning is that you will pay more attention to how much you are eating when you are not focused on your favorite show. The BBC is reporting recent research that suggests that the background noise of the television actually diminishes how much you taste the foods you are eating. The lead author on the study, Andy Woods, explained that they wanted to try to understand why airline food is notoriously bad. I had always figured it was a cost-cutting and logistics issue, but maybe not.

Experiment participants were asked to rate the overall flavor, sweetness, saltiness, and crunchiness of foods while blindfolded and wearing headphones. The headphones of the control group played no sound, while the experimental group heard white noise, like what you would hear on an airplane or with a fan nearby. The louder the white noise was, the less sweetness or saltiness the participants reported; however, they did report more crunchiness as noise increased.
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You Can Have Your Party Feast and Eat it Too

Josie Maurer is a freelance writer and founder of She lost over 40 pounds after the birth of her fourth child through sensible eating and exercise, yet she still maintains her love for large slices of cake.

Watch out for that party food! Are you hungry for dining out? When it’s time to enjoy a happy food extravaganza, it can be hard to stay on course with healthy eating. Restaurants do not typically post nutrition numbers on their menus, and dinner parties are a haven for delicious hors d’oeuvres as the thirsty cocktails flow. But how can you enjoy the eating bliss from an occasional night out without that bloated, guilty feeling as try to burn the fat?

Healthy eating plays a major role in your weight loss results. Moderation is important, too, but you should also give yourself some wiggle room to delight in all kinds of delicacies, especially given the opportunity to enjoy a special eating occasion. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shares this same philosophy. In a January 2009 article published on the CDC website, they state: “Healthy eating is all about balance. You can enjoy your favorite foods even if they are high in calories, fat or added sugars. The key is eating them only once in a while and balance them out with healthier foods and more physical activity.”

You can savor the tasty moments of a food event and still achieve your fitness goals. Eating like a bird is not required. So how do you do it?
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