'mindful eating': Health expert shares how this trick can help dieters

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'mindful eating': Health expert shares how this trick can help dieters

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Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:00 am

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People go on crash diets just to drop those extra unwanted pounds, but after they start eating again - the weight begins to pile up.

Instead of getting on the next diet fad, Marsha Hudnall, a registered dietitian and president of The Center for Mindful Eating, suggested that people simply change their perspective about eating. By being mindful eaters, Hudnall told the Huffington Post that people not only stay in shape, but they also appreciate what they are eating more.

In fact, people can consume whatever they want when they practice "mindful eating." Mindful eaters don't get overweight because they listen to their body's response to the meal, said Hudnall. When they're full, they simply stop eating.

"Mindful eating is really just being intentionally present," Hudnall explained. "You're paying attention to what you're doing, and your thoughts and feelings around what you're eating. If you get in touch with your body and support it, which is what mindfulness helps you do, then you become aware of what's right for you as far as eating and what isn't."

So how can people become mindful eaters? Hudnall said they have to adopt the mindset that every meal should be enjoyable. Instead of scarfing down whatever food's in front of them, people should chew slowly and enjoy the flavor and texture of their meal.

At the same time, they should take all judgment away from food. There's no such thing as thinking potatoes are bad, or that pasta is filled with bad carbs. "Mindful eating is also about removing the judgment," she said. "It's about not having any preconceived notions about whether something is 'good' or 'bad.'"

Meanwhile, Christopher Willard, a psychologist who is one of the board of directors at the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy and the Mindfulness in Education Network, suggested that people create healthy eating environments.

He said people should make it a point to sit down at the table and put food on a plate or bowl before eating. In their haste to get on with their busy schedules, some people simply eat out of the container.

But Willard said doing so will distract people from their meals. "Multitasking and eating is a recipe for not being able to listen deeply to our body's needs and wants," he said. "We've all had the experience of going to the movies with our bag full of popcorn, and before the coming attractions are over, we are asking who ate all of our popcorn. When we are distracted, it becomes harder to listen to our body's signals about food and other needs."

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