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Mindfulness – a slimming technique which gives results without starving yourself
Doctors and psychologists agree that paying full attention to the present moment and the pleasure of eating will let you get back to a healthy and straightforward relationship with food. It’s an internal “mindfulness” experiment that we will now describe.
Re-establish contact with your senses
The practice of mindfulness is about using a set of mental exercises to be very aware your feelings in the present moment, without judging them or trying to escape from them. When you’re working on your eating habits, this method, which comes from Buddhist techniques, helps you lose weight by waking up your senses. In other words, when you appreciate every aspect of the meal (consistency, texture, shape, taste, colour) your eating will be guided by your actual appetite.
Using mindfulness to make better contact with yourself
This is almost the opposite of dieting, and it has the great advantage that it treats dietary issues at their source. In simple terms, it reduces your response to thoughts and emotions, with the knock-on effect of increasing your ability to make balanced choices. It’s a change from the inside, not the outside as recommended by traditional slimming diets which rule out foods that are considered to be too high in calories.
Some exercises to meditate on
Long-term weight loss means a change in eating habits that is often difficult to keep up. Meditation, if done in a serious way, can supply the necessary reinforcement, the boost you need to stay committed. It lets you re-establish an instinctive relationship with food. The practice of meditation leaves you less affected by impulse. You can develop an inclination to be kind to yourself and so deflect counter-productive behaviour such as punishing yourself through what you eat, or using food as a sort of compensation when you’re under stress.