Why a Healthy Stress Mindset and Mindful Eating Can Help You Achieve a Healthy Weight
Updated: Nov 20
Happy October! Can you believe that its already Fall and that we are less than 60 days away from Christmas?!
I sure can't...
In some ways, this year has been extremely long (for real though) but to think we are literally entering the Holiday Season seems, well... crazy!
2020 has been quite the year, hasn't it? From fires in Australia and the US, to COVID-19, to hurricanes, elections, job changes and for many, the reality of homeschooling (I could go on and on), we sure have had our fill of unprecedented circumstances... and to say they have been a source of stress would be an understatement!
I wanted to take a couple minutes and encourage you as I know life has been H-A-R-D lately. We are heading into the holidays and that right there can be another source of chaos so sit back, take a deep breathe and hear me out.
Stress is a normal and necessary part of life, but how we view and respond to it has a direct affect on our overall health and wellbeing.
According to the brilliant Kelly McGonigal, PhD, "A stress mindset is the way you think about stress and how you relate to it. It’s not just about whether you think stress is good or bad, but about what you think it means when you’re stressed out.
Your stress mindset is the filter through which you analyze stressful experiences... To shift your stress mindset in a more positive direction, you have to first understand what you currently believe about stress, and then consciously explore a more empowered set of beliefs.
For instance, if you currently have the belief that stress means “I'm failing," you might try shifting that to “I care.”
One mindset convinces you that you should do something to escape the feelings, while the other encourages you to do or choose something in support of what you care about. That simple redefinition can create a more positive, less damaging stress experience."
Pretty fascinating, right?
This leads me into my topic of the day: Mindful Eating!
But first, why am I talking about eating mindfully anyway?
In the modern world we eat for convenience rather than for nutrition. We eat for instant gratification rather than long-term health benefits. We eat for comfort because we're stressed (there's that word again!).
Can you imagine learning a new way of slow eating in which you actually get to experience the tastes and textures of your food rather than wolfing it down in a hurry, snacking on the go or simply trying to forget the worries of the world?
I included some tips here to help you learn to slow down and eat mindfully. These will help you to see the food you eat as medicine that not only nourishes your whole system, but also tastes delicious and brings satisfaction!
So what is mindful eating?
Mindful eating means taking the time to honor your food by choosing high quality, organic (when possible) food, preparing it with care and eating it slowly and mindfully, using all five of your senses to really enjoy it.
It means allocating quiet time to prepare and enjoy eating your meal without rushing or multitasking at the same time. Mindful eating is a way of saying to yourself: “I respect my body enough to be mindful of what I put into it and of the way I eat.” Think of this type of eating as a form of self care: you are paying attention to what is at the end of your fork and are choosing to honor your body. It means choosing to be present with your food and the way you eat it.
This will help you avoid the mindless snacking or the caving to cravings that lead to binging and unintended weight gain.
My clients find that eating mindfully helps them to:
Sense intuitively when they are full
Gain way more satisfaction from eating
Develop a healthy relationship with food
See food as medicine
Discover new tastes and textures
Improve digestion (less gas and bloating... hello!)
Regulate bowel movement
Discover food sensitivities
Create healthy habits that enliven and empower them
How to know if it’s time for me to learn to eat mindfully?
Glad you asked!
It’s time for you to practice mindful eating if you answer “YES” to any of these questions:
You get bloated after eating
You scoff down your food like there's no tomorrow
You eat just to feel full not to enjoy the tastes
You eat to numb out/cope with stress
You want to learn to enjoy healthy food
You feel bloated easily
You gain weight easily
You crave sugar or starchy foods
You have difficulty focusing or foggy brain
You feel lethargic after eating
You have allergies or hay fever
You feel addicted to eating foods that aren’t healthy for you but you can’t stop
You tend to gain weight easily, especially in your belly
You have extra pounds that won’t come off with diet and exercise
What to do now?
In my health coaching practice, I help clients discover what triggers them to overeat or binge eat. We talk about how to form a healthy stress mindset and then, I lead them through a step-by-step process to learn how to eat mindfully, learning what and how to eat for their unique body type.
If you answered "yes" to any of the symptoms above, then click here now to schedule a time to talk with me about how you can learn to eat mindfully. I’ll help you understand what’s blocking you from eating mindfully and I’ll show you how to get started.
You matter and you are worth taking care of!