Good Morning my Tribe!
As you know, I specialize in digestive health. What you may not know, is that I have about 30 clients with a primary goal to lose weight and feel better.
With the holidays here, I often talk with my clients about mindful eating practices to implement and practice. Mindful eating is not a diet, or a quick fix, but rather a lifestyle approach. It can greatly help with weight management, but this is not the goal or focus. It is based on gaining control and enjoyment over our eating decisions, and decreases the fear and guilt around food. It teaches us to be non-judgmental with ourselves and our food.
Research shows that mindful eating improves body image, self-esteem and quality of life. Further, it's shown to decrease depression, anxiety and binge-eating. It allows us to understand why we eat, and provides us with the tools to manage our appetite when we aren't truly hungry.
There are numerous mindful eating tools, and I want to share one of my favorites with you today. When clients embrace this tool, they often tell me that it's life changing. And the best part? You can practice it ANYWHERE!
The tool is called the hunger scale, below. To use the tool, you'll want to rate your hunger on a scale of 1-10. A one means you're extremely hungry, and a ten means extremely full.
The ultimate goal is to always stay in the shaded green area, between 30% and 80%, so hungry to comfortably full. If we get too hungry, we'll likely overeat or make poor food choices (in particular, higher carbohydrate/sugar options due to the body wanting some quick fuel). Being too hungry will also decrease our mental performance.
If we eat past 80%, our body just doesn't need the additional food and it could be stored as fat. The Japanese actually have a saying called Hara Hachi Bu, or eat until 80% full. Some of the elders still say this before every meal, and you could too!
With the goal of staying in the shaded green area, it's important to remember that practice makes permanent. At first, you'll need to coach yourself regularly. But after a while, it'll become automatic. This is a LIFESTYLE, and no one is perfect at first (not even me, back in the day, when I started practicing mindful eating). But I promise, over time, with much practice, the rewards will be oh so worth the time and effort put in.
Looking for extra support on your weight loss journey, or wanting to learn additional mindful eating tools? I'd