Smart, Savvy Grocery Shopping

How much thought and planning goes into your grocery store experience? Do you stick to a grocery list or do you just “wing” it every time and hope for the best? I get the pleasure of working with many of you on an ongoing basis and I get really good at understanding what fuels your lifestyle. There are several areas that almost everyone needs guidance in. One is how to handle the obesogenic environment and the other relates to lack of skills related to planning and preparing your own food. In America, the art and skill of cooking meals at home is virtually nonexistent for the typical family. We’ve outsourced that responsibility to corporations and as a result, our health has greatly suffered.  The good news is that with a little understanding and planning, you can transform your health completely by stocking your kitchen with wholesome, nourishing foods. The opposite is also true; If you stock your kitchen with junk food and give no thought to what you eat, your health will suffer.

Let’s talk about confusion for a moment. Think about catchy buzzwords or phrases that grab your attention–  “High protein, low-carb, gluten-free, non-gmo, organic, made with whole grains, 100% natural, immune support.” What do all these terms really mean? Well, not much. They are just words that have been glossed up so you’ll by their product. The first step to becoming a savvy and smart shopper is simply an awareness that your food purchasing decisions are heavily influenced by external factors such as marketing, product placement, consumer trends, etc. Buyer Beware and be on the lookout for marketing ploys. Even the layout, the lighting and the smells at grocery stores may have been manufactured to encourage increased spending on junk food.

The second step involves sticking to a plan, or a shopping list, but how do you determine if a food is healthy or worthy to be in your cart? There are some general rules to follow:

  • Eat real food. Begin the process of incorporating whole, REAL foods into your diet and phase out “food-like substances.” As a general rule, the majority of your food should have less than 5 ingredients.
  • Forget the packaging and look deeper. Peek at the Nutrition Facts Label and thoroughly read the ingredient list. Are the ingredients substances that you want in your body? You better bring your google machine, aka smart phone, to look up food additives for which you can’t pronounce.
  • Is this food satisfying and nourishing, or is it overly stimulating? (Google Hyperpalatable foods and food addiction)
  • Is this food high in sugar and salt? Hint: there are over 50 names for sugar. If you struggle with portion control or binge eating, engineered foods with the fat-salt-sugar combo may be nearly impossible to eat mindfully
  • Is this food a good investment for my health? Does it fit within my budget?

I’m very careful not to give specific dietary advice to the general population because everyone’s nutrition needs are different.  There is no one size fits all approach when it comes to meeting your nutrition needs and it’s important to consider your goals, preferences, genetics and lifestyle factors. So although I wholly believe in eating natural, REAL foods, keep this in mind when preparing your nutrition plan and most importantly, seek the support and advice of your registered dietitian or nutrition coach.  He or she can provide advice, as well as offer suggestions on tools and apps that may help with your grocery planning.

Smart Buys for Convenience:

Proteins

  • Chicken, Fish, Shrimp
  • Tuna, Salmon packages/cans
  • Tofu/Tempeh
  • Protein powder of choice
  • Egg whites
  • Eggs
  • Natural Nut Butters/Natural Peanut Butter
  • Protein bar of choice, low in sugar

Starches

  • Canned beans/lentils
  • Frozen Quinoa/Brown Rice
  • Steel Cut Oats

Vegetables/Fruits

  • Frozen or Fresh Vegetables
  • Fresh or Frozen Fruit

Dairy

  • Plain, Lowfat yogurt
  • Lowfat dairy or unsweetened Almond or Soymilk
  • Low-fat Cheese Sticks

Miscellaneous

  • Sparkling water, La Croix, Club Soda or Unsweetened Tea
  • Herbs and Seasoning
  • Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or low sodium Tamari
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Nutritional Yeast

When you get home from the grocery store, make sure to set yourself up for success by prepping vegetables, fruits and healthy snacks for easy access. If you have the opportunity, try to attend a grocery shopping tour that’s held on the 3rd Wednesday of every month at 12pm and 6pm.

Metabolic Testing: Key For Weight Loss?

by Christy Strouse, RDN, CPT  

How Metabolic Testing Can Help You To Lose Weight

Metabolic testing is an important first step when deciding to lose weight.  It can also help with overcoming the dreaded weight loss plateau.  Instead of estimating calorie needs (guessing), metabolic testing allows the practitioner to measure the RMR, also known as Resting Metabolic rate, which is the amount of energy (calories) the body consumes at rest.  This is accomplished by having the client rest comfortably while having them breath through a tube connected to the metabolic analyzer.  The machine measures the amount of oxygen the person is burning at rest and this is directly related to the amount of calories they are burning.  From there, it determines calorie ranges for weight loss, weight maintenance and weight gain.

More Than A Tool

Having the right calorie prescription for weight loss is the critical first step in providing individualized nutrition programming.  If your goal is weight loss, ideally you will be using this information while working with a registered dietitian in a comprehensive program designed for YOU.  We can’t stress enough the importance of having the right support as you embark on these new changes.  Simply having your metabolic numbers won’t automatically translate into actionable steps.  It’s not for a lack of information that people struggle to lose weight and keep it off.  Weight loss that is sustainable requires the right info (calorie and individualized program), with the right support and the right strategies.  Combine all of that with the person’s intrinsic motivation for change and that is the recipe for a transformed life.

We at Nutrition Solutions love what we do and we partner with people ready for lifestyle change.  If that’s you and you are interested in finding out who we are and what we do, click here and we’ll have someone reach out to you.

 

Hidden Cues To Eating

Lifestyle Education Discussion:
“Hidden Cues To Eating”
“Why can’t I stop?” Have you ever repeated this question to yourself in an attempt to understand your eating behaviors? Of course you have. We all have. It’s a battle between what YOU WANT TO HAPPEN and what you ACTUALLY DO. It all comes down to food habits and food cues. I read somewhere that nutrition is 20% science and 80% habit, so the question often is not “what,” but “how.” Let’s dig into this a little deeper.

A habit is a routine or behavior that is repeated regularly and tends to occur subconsciously. No question that habits are hard to break, and this is especially true with eating habits. Cues are anything in your internal or external environment that trigger you to a particular behavior. With food cues, they can originate internally, externally or arise in certain social situations. You will be familiar with the following:

– Eating at weddings, funerals and birthday’s
– Eating/drinking beer watching football games
– Overeating while watching TV
– Eating popcorn and drinking soda at a movie theater
– Eating at night (stressful day and unwinding with food)
– Mindless Eating at parties
– Eating candy from a coworkers desk
– Eating donuts or cookies left in a breakroom
– Eating out with coworkers at lunch
– Overeating at buffets
– Craving a whopper after seeing a Burger King commercial
– Stopping for a Krispy Kreme donut after seeing the “hot now” sign
– Eating for emotional reasons (stress, lonely, anxious, happy, sad, bored, angry, tired, etc)

When I’m working with individuals in a one-on-one setting it may be surprising to find that we spend little time discussing nutrition and “what” he/she should be eating. Instead, the majority of our energy is spent identifying habits and triggers. The focus of yesterday’s discussion was two-fold: Identify and recognize various cues to unhealthy eating habits and to understand how to replace those unwanted habits with habits that provide a positive reward for the brain. As we discussed yesterday, the brain loves reward. The more powerful the reward, the more difficult it is to break the habit. Hyperpalatable foods such as pizza, ice cream, junk food, etc stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain and provide a powerful reward (dopamine) that is hard to break. If you want to change the habit, you have to find an activity that provides a reward to the brain. The challenge is that eating junk food provides instant relief. Eating well and exercising produces more of a long-term, sustained reward. If you truly want to change your eating and exercising habits, you need to do so in a way that provides reward for the brain.

Some rewards of eating well and exercising:

– Improved energy
– Self confidence
– Disease prevention
– Look good
– Feel strong
– Empowered
– Shame-free
– Better sleep
– Getting off medications
– Cured depression/anxiety
– Improved immunity
– Glowing skin
– Increase mobility
– Freedom to live

I say this all the time, but weight loss isn’t about having more willpower or self-control. Instead, it’s about digging deep and understanding what motivates you. It’s about taking an inventory of your environment and then developing strategies that ensure success.

To the ladies and gentlemen that have made this work for them, please post your suggestions/experiences!

Food Journaling

Beyond calorie counting
Most of you are more than familiar with tracking food and calories. You can do this any number of ways: MyFitness Pal, LoseIt, Pen and Paper, sticky notes–whatever works for you! Some goals of tracking what goes in your mouth:

  • Increases awareness of what, how and when you eat
  • Promote accountability for yourself and you can share with your weight loss coach
  • Increases understanding of calories, macronutrients and portion sizes
  • Can unveil patterns of mindless eating, habits, food triggers and food cues
  • Help you to lose weight. Research supports that the simple act of writing it down is correlated with greater amounts of weight loss

TIPS FOR FOOD TRACKING:

  • Do not generalize. Be specific and write everything down including portion sizes and amounts
  • Include extra’s such as condiments, dressings, creamers, etc–they add up!
  • Keep it simple. If you make it too difficult, you will not stick with tracking
  • Include your feelings and emotions
  • Find a format that works for YOU. Myfitness Pal is a good tool, but pen and paper works well too
  • Personalize it. Journaling is about YOU and for YOU. You may have to experiment some before you find a system that works for you

Food tracking can be a helpful tool, but at the end of the day, it’s really not about the food.  What you’re really after is the awareness of why, how, and what you eat. Too often, the calorie counting becomes the focus and can actually become counter-productive. That’s where journaling can help. Journaling is a powerful, yet underutilized tool that allows you to externalize and process thoughts, emotions and triggers.  I challenge you to try it for 30 days and see if you don’t experience dramatic results.

Nutrition Solutions

Stress Management for Weight Loss

This week we discussed the numerous ways in which stress affects a person’s eating and exercising habits.  We had a great discussion, but I feel we were only able to scratch the surface since so many of us live in a chronically stressed state.  For some of us, living with stress is the only way to live and to rid ourselves of stress would seem dull and unnatural.  In our culture, stress is glorified.  Stress is king.  Stress is how stuff gets done!  But here’s the thing:  If you want great health, you’ll have to make a commitment to manage the stress in your life differently.  If you want to lose weight or maintain your weight, chronic stress is public enemy number one.

Stress vs Chronic Stress
Our bodies stress response is actually a wonderful invention.  When our body perceives a threat, our endocrine and nervous system work together at a lighting fast speed to alert us to the danger.  We get a surge of hormones and chemicals that enable us to take immediate action.  Our pupils dilate, our heart beats fast and blood gets diverted to the large muscles of the body and this just might save your life.  This is called the acute stress response, otherwise known as “Fight-or-flight.”  Once the perceived threat is over, the body returns to a more balanced state.  Chronic stress, on the other hand, is what happens when the body stays in that stress response state.

Chronic Stress & Your Weight
The stress response affects your health habits both directly and indirectly.  Stress increases hunger hormones, which leads to increased appetite and cravings.  It also decreases your satiety hormones so that you don’t feel satisfied when you do eat.  Increased cortisol has been correlated with increased visceral adiposity— “belly fat”—which is particularly risky in terms of inflammation and disease.  This is the shortened version of what happens.  For a more detailed version, visit here.  Sometimes it’s good to have a little background info on what is happening from a biological standpoint so that you can develop effective strategies.  Too often people assume that they have a lack of willpower or discipline when the truth is that chronic stress is highjacking their biology.

Stress causes us to reach for comfort foods as a way to medicate the brain.  We crave high sugar, high fat, and salty foods because that provides the instant gratification that we both crave and have been accustomed to enjoy.  From a very early age, our brains learned to associate sweet and savory foods with rewards.  If we had good behavior, we were rewarded with a cookie.  If we were sad, depressed, happy or mad, we were given food to cope.  You may not remember all of the ways that food was used to medicate, but the brain does.  When we are stressed, we don’t reach for grilled fish and broccoli.  No, we reach for the foods that will provide us with that quick boost in mood and energy.  We fail to remember that the junk food never really solves our problems, but actually creates more problems in the long-term.

Chronic stress also means we don’t have time to arrange our world for success.  When we’re stressed, we are thinking about the here and now and we’re not taking time to nurture ourselves through proper diet and exercise.  We’re also not likely getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep, which further feeds this vicious cycle of stress.

Strategies for Reducing the Stress
In many cases, it is possible to avoid stress all together.  In other instances, you can adapt or alter your response to it.  Stress is not something that happens to us, but rather it is how we perceive it.  It’s the classic serenity prayer:  God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

Brain Food and Exercise
Last, but not least, consider diet and exercise as part of the solution.  Your diet is either feeding disease or fighting disease and it’s up to you to choose foods that heal.  Learning to bypass junk food and choosing nourishing foods instead is a process that may take some time.  Junk food provides instant gratification, whereas most nourishing foods provide sustained health benefits.  A healthy diet need not be complicated.  Find a system that works for you and stick with it.  Your diet should consist of whole, natural foods and should include plenty of vegetables, lean proteins and fruit as a dessert.  Reduce or eliminate added sugar in your diet by reading labels and ingredients.  In terms of exercise, the mantra is, “Just do it.”  The best exercise regimen is the one that you actually do.  Exercise is a one-two punch for stress and weight management.  Exercise, of course, is a way to manage weight by burning energy, but it’s also the treatment for relieving stress.  When we exercise, our body releases chemicals that calm us and makes us feel good.  Think of exercise as a way to burn off the harmful effects of stress—a way to decrease the amount of cortisol floating around in our bloodstream.

If you’re tired of jumping from one diet to another, look closely at the sources of stress in your life.  Can you avoid, alter or adapt?

Eat More Plants!

It seems we love our dietary extremes.

Contrary to what you may have heard, plant-based eating is not radical. In fact, eating plant-based doesn’t even necessarily mean you give up eating meat or animal products. My definition of plant-based eating is a diet that is centered around plant foods that may or may not be seasoned with meat or animal products.

A plant-based diet is one that focuses on plants–one that is plant-centric.  It’s exciting, colorful, tasty and with lots of texture.  It does not necessarily mean that someone adopting a more plant-based diet abstains from meat all together.  There are different types of plant-based diets ranging from Vegan (no animal products), to a more flexible approach such as the Flexitarian diet.  Often times I promote a Flexitarian pattern which seeks to incorporate more plant-based foods into your existing diet.  So instead of subtracting or cutting out, we focused on foods to add—a concept known as crowding out.

Benefits associated with plant-based diets are too many to mention, but here are the most notable:

  • Lower body weight, weight loss
  • Eat more, weigh less (plant-based diets are typically lower in calories)
  • Decrease risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic diseases
  • Reversal of atherosclerosis
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Healthy gut microbiome
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Reduce risk of cancer
  • Better brain health
  • Increased intake of important nutrients and fiber
  • Cost-saving

If you would like to learn more about the benefits associated with plant-based eating, visit http://www.nutritionfacts.org which is a website dedicated to providing evidence-based nutrition advice. Adopting a more plant-based diet is exciting and fun, but can undoubtedly be intimidating to some. Below are some practical and simple suggestions.  I’d encourage you to start gradually and build your culinary skills as you go.

 

 

 

Too busy to prepare your own plant-based meals?  Have our chef and culinary team do it for you! 

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It’s Not About The Diet. 

When it comes down to it, there’s not one special diet that will produce lasting weight loss for every person.  Many different nutritional approaches can work, assuming the person can stick with it.  A person should consider things like stress, cooking abilities, reasons for changing, and methods of sustaining the changes. Why have you been unsuccessful at changing in the past? Ultimately, your success will come from changing habits and that happens when you have a clear understanding of the problems, and you strive for creative solutions to those problems. Creativity is a highly under-appreciated skill when it comes to weight loss. Challenges will always be there and simple cookie-cutter approaches won’t work. You can “glean” strategies from popular diets, but you have to make it your own. Take what works and leave the rest.

Be a good scientist 
When it comes to weight loss, what no one will tell you is that there’s a lot of experimentation with finding the right formula for success. We all would like to believe that A + B = C.  Eat less, exercise more and you will lose weight. Well, yes.  But no. Yes, you must maintain an energy deficit to lose weight, but HOW exactly you accomplish this is where the experimentation comes into play.  Experiment with calories, macros, meal timing and exercise.  Don’t leave out strategies for sleep and stress reduction which play a major role in weight management.

Is it worth it?
Ultimately, the effort you put into changing existing habits must be worth it, which is to say, it must be rewarding. Make sure you carefully and continuously evaluate the pros and cons of adopting the desired change.  If you commit to daily exercise, for example, you must connect with the rewards in order for you to stick with it. Does this new behavior produce more energy? Better sleep? Improved mood? You may say you want to eat “right” and exercise, but the brain sees through your vain attempts. In order for the new behavior to stick, your brain must be rewarded for it.  If there is a powerful reward to your new behavior, your brain will commit that to memory so you can quickly remember it for next time. The caveat: your brain loves instant gratification. Make sure your rewards are thought out.

The next time you’re tempted to try the next popular diet, ask yourself if a new diet is really what you need.  More likely, you need to go deeper and recall what strategies did or did not work in the past.  You don’t need another diet to follow. You need to find your own diet to follow.

Support yourself with the best!  We would love the opportunity to partner with you on your journey.  Schedule a time to speak with one of our coaches today!

Nutrition Solutions

Nutrition Solutions Weight Loss

864 676-1248

 

Exercise Is Medicine

What if there were one pill you could take daily that protected against disease, cancer, aging and a host of other maladies?  In addition, it might cure depression and counter the harmful effects of stress and anxiety.  And then, what if I added that this pill was super low cost, and without any unwanted side effects?  As it turns out, exercise is that magic pill.

Exercise:

  • Improves memory and cognitive function
  • Improves mood, induces happiness and sense of well-being
  • Reduces risk of colon, breast, lung and endometrial cancer (and likely many others)
  • Improves cognitive function by enhancing neurogenesis and neuroplastisty (new brain cells and synaptic connections)
  • Improves function of endocrine system (naturally balances hormones)
  • Improves sleep quality
  • Reduces risk of diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s dementia
  • Improves self-confidence
  • Reduces pain
  • Reduces blood pressure naturally
  • Promotes blood sugar control/increases insulin sensitivity
  • Reduces inflammation in the body
  • Improves immune function (get sick less frequently)
  • Increases muscular strength and flexibility
  • Prevents weight gain

Most people understand that exercise is good for them on a surface level, but they’ve heard the same recycled message over and over.  Simply knowing that exercise is good for health doesn’t automatically translate into someone adopting it as a health behavior.  So the question we all need to ask is, how specifically is exercise good for MY body?  The challenge here is that oftentimes we won’t know the answer to this question until we have been practicing the behavior for some time.  For example, you wouldn’t appreciate the mood-boosting effects of running until you were 20 minutes into the run, and you wouldn’t be able to appreciate the full health benefits until running became routine, instead of something you did just once or twice.

It’s worth pointing out that exercise should ultimately be something you enjoy, and it certainly doesn’t need to be complicated.  If you have been inactive for some time, there will be discomfort as your body adapts to the new physical demands.  But once you build an aerobic and fitness base, you will come to need physical challenge much the same way you need to eat and sleep.  Movement and physical activity is natural.  Being sedentary is not.  Bodies are designed to move and not sit for 8 hours at a time.  At its core, exercise should work the cardiovascular system and the musculoskeletal system.  This means cardio + building or maintaining muscle and bone tissue.  Bone, by the way, is living tissue.  Incorporating resistance training into your exercise routine helps protect against sarcopenia and osteopenia.  Translated, this means strong muscles and strong bones—a sturdy frame that you have the privilege of using while on this earth.  This body is the only one you have, so take good care of it.

Finally, keep in mind that it’s not all or nothing and any exercise is better than no exercise.  Find some movements and activities that you can do and just start doing them.  Get creative with your exercise and try new things.  One of the most important things you can do in the beginning stages is to surround yourself with others who are committed to an active lifestyle.  Try some group fitness classes or hiking groups.  Spend money by hiring a personal trainer who can encourage, inspire and push you to do more than you thought you could.  Whatever you do, just get moving and stay moving.  Practice.

“The most effective way to do it, is it to do it.”–Amelia Earhart

Cheers! To Another Year of Dieting

My title is a sarcastic one.

Today is January 2nd, 2018. Post holidays, post New Year’s celebration, and post Rose Bowl. I was reminded of two things last night while watching the football game: Americans are obsessed with food, and Americans are obsessed with dieting. In between the food-porn commercials were perfectly timed advertisements for commercial weight-loss diets. I’ve long been aware of the effects that food commercials have on individual behavior. There is a reason they don’t just talk about the delicious (subjective) food, but rather they show you. They zoom in on that juicy burger with the fat glistening in the artificial spotlight. They must show you pizza and show you how attractive, fit people look when they are enjoying that food (calling that food is debatable).  Thirty seconds later, a commercial for a diet that promises weight loss with little effort.  It’s maddening.

 

As a dietitian/nutritionist, and a personal trainer, and a licensed massage therapist, health is my thing.  Some assume that I am healthy naturally, and that I don’t have to work for it.  The opposite is true. Because I once was SO unhealthy, I decided to make changes and that ultimately led me to pursue training in the health and wellness field. I work hard, very hard, but it’s all worth it.  I’m healthier than I’ve ever been, despite the fact that I. AM. aging. Slowly, but surely, as we all are.  A good nutritionist doesn’t simply promote the latest diet or food fad.  A good nutritionist & health guru understands that an individualized approach is what’s needed and works to educate, coach, and inspire willing individuals to make the tiny, and sometimes, major changes to promote health and disease resistance.  For most people, gradual, but unfailing dedication will produce the results.  What we are more familiar with is the yo-yo diet, binge-purge cycle which is the American way.  Sure, weight loss can be easy.  Many of us can attest to the fact that diets can produce results in the short-term, but short-term results is not truly what we’re after.  Long-term success is what we all want, but few achieve and that requires us to dig deep and be honest with ourselves. It requires a person to figure out what makes them tick. Do you want the instant gratification that comes with eating and drinking the way that everyone else does?  Or, are you after the more sustaining rewards that comes from hard work?  We all reap what we sow, which is to say, if you make the sacrifices, the payoff–the reward will be worth it.

   For 2018, I plead with you to do it differently this year.  Say NO to another diet, but instead commit to a personal lifestyle change.  A life worth having is one defined by how much you THRIVE. For me as a health professional, that can be measured not simply by the absence of disease, but by overall health and wellness. Take it a step further and think about your energy levels, your sleep, and how you feel in your body. Do you feel amazing? Do you feel energetic?  Do you feel empowered?  We can’t control every aspect of our health, but there are many factors that we can control. Do these things for a better 2018, followed by an even better 2019.

 

  • Eat better–don’t eat junk and cut the sugar. Eat whole foods that are natural.
  • Plan & Prepare your own food
  • Sleep better
  • Manage Stress better
  • Be active and exercise daily
  • Don’t eat too much
  • Don’t drink too much
  • If you are overweight, focus on weight loss
  • Commit to getting support
  • Be more mindful and pay attention to the clues/cues

 

Lifestyle change is the answer, but you don’t want to embark on that journey alone. Grab some friends, and build up your health team.  Start by giving us a call.  We can point you in the right direction with the nutrition and weight loss, and recommend other professionals to help with the rest.  You need a team. Ready, Set, Go. 2018 comin’ at ya!

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Get in touch with us!
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appointments@nutritionsolutionsonline.com

 

Mind Your Meals

If you’ve ever polished off a bag of chips while watching your favorite Netflix show, you’ll be familiar with the practice of mindless eating.  We all do it more than we realize or care to admit.  What you may be less familiar with is the concept of Mindful eating, or more specifically, how Mindful eating can help you plug back in to your internal cues for hunger and satiety.

The body is incredible.  It was designed to notify, or “cue” us to eat when we’re hungry, and cue us to stop eating when we’re full.  It does this through the action of the nervous system and hormone messengers.  Grehlin, for example, is a hormone secreted by the gut and it essentially yells, “hey, I’m hungry!  Feed me now!”  On the other hand, the hormone Leptin is secreted by appetite cells and its role is to whisper, “hey, I’m full now.  Human, you may stop eating.” These are 2 of the more well-known hormone regulators of appetite and I share this with you to help you understanding that minding what you eat is more complex than simply exerting willpower.  Sometimes your intention of mindfully eating only 1 cookie will be overridden by the brains executive decision to binge, since the parts of your brain involved in reward are powerful drivers of your eating behavior.

So what is Mindful Eating?  Mindful eating is the practice (emphasis on the word “practice”) to consciously eat in way that nourishes you.  Mindful Eating means that you focus your attention on the experiences involved with eating, free from any distractions.  Mindful eating means you are fully present while eating. not driving, texting or watching TV.  When you are consciously tuned in and aware, the idea is that you will be able to know when you are full.  The reality, however, is more complex for two reasons:  One, in our modern culture, it’s nearly impossible to be mindful every time we eat or drink (unless you happen to be a Buddhist Monk).  Secondly, mindful eating doesn’t hold up too well when it comes to hyperpalatable foods that are high in sugar.  Appetite regulation was designed to work perfectly for our ancestors, who ate whole, natural foods when food wasn’t always readily available.  In our modern culture, processed food is ubiquitous.  Whereas our ancestors faced periods of feast and famine, our modern lives are shaped by life-long relationships with junk food, in a constant state of feasting.

Modern Mindful Eating
This doesn’t mean we should abandon the practice of Mindful Eating, but we need to acknowledge its limitations.  Mindful eating is an excellent way to free yourself from the guilt and shame involved in eating and dieting.  The practice of Mindful Eating may look different for each person, but what is important is that we each take time to prepare our own meals and slow down when we’re eating.  Get curious about your eating behaviors and pay attention.  Your body is always talking to you.  Are you listening?

Need a nutrition support system? Call us at 864 676-1248 and ask about our programs.

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