Wednesday, 9 July 2014

GUEST BLOG: Mindful Eating by health coach, Lydia McCall

"It is lunchtime and you find yourself stuck at your computer replying to the constant stream of emails that keep hitting your inbox and as women we love to multitask. So you get through your emails while munching your way through lunch. Hitting two birds with one stone. You finally come to the end of your email session to find that your have devoured your whole lunch without even registering you were eating. We have all been there right. Thinking “I can’t have eaten that whole thing, where is the rest? Someone must have eaten it.”

This is a sign of mindless eating which is so common in this day and age as there is so much to do but so little time. We are rushing around grabbing food on the go and not taking the time to really be present with our food. Our bodies can only do one thing at a time so it is not registering that you have eaten which tends to lead you to feeling unsatisfied with cravings at an all time high. This leads you to devouring one to many digestive biscuits around mid afternoon. Not a great habit to get used to.

So if you are looking to get your digestion on track, lose a few pounds and start to become more in tune with yourself so you can understand what your body is really craving then please start putting these 3 steps into practise so you can become a more mindful eater.

 Make eating a special event

Food is something to be enjoyed. It is one of the most amazing pleasures in life. So make sure you treat it like so. Step away from your desk, put down that magazine and turn off your TV. Focus purely on your food with no distractions. Make your surroundings a place of calm, light a few candles, turn on some relaxing music or find a nice spot outside for lunch. Take a break to nourish your mind and body and you will feel energised and more focussed because of it and less snacking will take place due to the fact your body has registered that it has eaten.

Take stress out of the equation

If you eat in a stressed state your digestion will be severally compromised. Have you ever thought that you are doing all the right things and ticking all the right boxes such as eating well, exercising and drinking enough water but never seem to achieve that flat stomach. Well this comes down to not what you eat but how you eat. When you are stressed, blood gets pumped to your arms and legs and away from your digestive system as it registers your stress as danger and wants to be prepared to ‘run away’ from the danger so the foods that you consume are not being digested at an optimal level. Decrease your stress levels by taking 3 long deep breathes, in through your nose and out through your mouth. This breathing exercise helps lower the stress hormone, cortisol, in your body so will help in improving your digestion and get you one step closer to a flat tummy.

Create a strong mind body connection

Once you are sitting down in a clam environment and you are feeling relaxed. Simply say thank you for the food you are about to eat. This brings your awareness to the present moment and away from the to do list you have to get through or the washing that might be waiting to get done. When you are disconnected from your body it is hard to distinguish what your body truly needs. People often confuse physical hunger with emotional hunger. So ask yourself, “What does my body really need in this moment, what am I really hungry for?” If you are in fact hungry then eat slowly and enjoy every mouthful but if something emotional comes up try and soothe yourself in other ways such as going for a walk, calling a friend or having a lovely bath.

Do you want to get your cravings under control? You can subscribe to Lydia’s mailing list here to receive six top tips to beat your cravings effectively."

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