If so, read on, because food freedom is
Achieving healthy, sustainable weight loss doesn’t involve following a rigid set of criteria. And it definitely isn’t achievable when you label foods “good” or “bad.” To find true freedom around food, try engaging your mind AND your body and let go of food rules in order to develop new eating habits. Mindfulness combined with nourishing nutritional guidelines are the keys you need to keep weight off for good. Listening deeply and paying attention to what you eat and how you feel is Mind-Body Nutrition.
How many times have you scarfed down a meal without even taking note of what you were eating? Or, maybe you’ve used food to placate an uncomfortable feeling – fear, loneliness, or any other emotion.
If this sounds familiar please know there is NO judgment. You’re human, and perfection is not the goal. Eating fast and rushing through meals contributes to vicious cravings, an increased stress response, and impaired digestion and assimilation of nutrients. In fact, ‘fight-or-flight’ stress leads blood away from the digestive system, decreasing digestive enzymes, and can even cause the entire system to shut down if it’s chronic!
When you eat slowly and mindfully while enjoying your food and chewing it properly before swallowing, you experience:
– Enhanced metabolism
– Increased calorie burning
– Increased oxygen to your system
– Physiological relaxation response
– Increased fat burning
Mindfulness can also help you get curious about the foods you crave. Awareness is the first step to understanding your cravings! When you replace negative self-talk with genuine interest and curiosity in why you are reaching for that sweet treat, you can begin to unravel what you’re really craving on a deeper level.
Let’s begin by debunking some major food myths.
First, eating fat does not make you fat. In fact, fat-Omega 3s or Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) are clean, calm and stable burning fuel! They help sustain your energy throughout the day and reduce cravings, while stabilizing your mood and keeping skin, hair, and nails looking youthful.
Here’s where you can get your healthy fats:
- Salmon, sardines, and other wild fish,
- Seeds, nuts, and nut butters
- Flax seed, chia seed, and hemp seed
- Olive, coconut, avocado, and MCT oils
- EPA/DHA supplements
Unhealthy fats are trans fats or oils that have gone rancid from high heat processing. Many packaged foods contain some form of unhealthy fat. Unhealthy fats are one of the lead contributors to age-related diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
Second, you can eat more and weigh less. Add nutrient-dense foods to your meals. This will crowd out foods that no longer serve you. A rule of thumb here is to eat the rainbow! Adding lots of whole, fresh, colorful fruits and veggies are the cornerstone. Eat protein and high-quality fats, whole grains, and drink plenty of water. A balance of macro- and micro nutrients help keep you feeling satiated, with balanced blood sugar and a revved up metabolism.
- Become a slow, relaxed eater – try adding 5 minutes to each meal
- Chew your food thoroughly before swallowing to aid digestion
- Be curious about emotions and your cravings. Don’t judge your food or yourself!
- Remember: We are ALL emotional eaters
- Pay attention to what you eat and how you feel after you eat certain foods
- Eat along with natural bio-circadian rhythms – avoid late-night eating when metabolism slows down
- Try including protein, fiber and high-quality fats for breakfast and lunch
- Fill 50% of your plate with colorful veggies – cooked and raw. Always include dark leafy greens
- Choose whole grains over refined carbs. Whole grains are absorbed slowly by the body, providing sustained energy
- Practice the “80-20 Rule” – follow these guidelines 80% of the time and 20% of the time, anything goes!