8 Reasons Mindful Eating Fails
Mindful eating is not easy to do if you’ve been on and off diets for a while. Many Mindful Eating “gurus” will tell you that you are failing because you are still restricting foods you eat. So, essentially, that’s having a mindset of still being on a diet. Mindful eating is NOT a diet. If you are learning this on your own from reading blogs, you’ll probably notice that most (if not all) of the gurus teaching this are thin, or relatively thin.
This raises reasonable assumptions in your mind. One of them being that these gurus were once fat and then did Mindful Eating (or intuitive eating) and lost weight. The other assumption can be that they were never heavy and are teaching you how to eat like them. Well, assumptions are not always correct.
Will I Lose Weight Eating Mindfully?
Let’s deals with the first assumption. Some people do lose weight using intuitive eating. Others gain weight, and still others stay the same weight. Think about a diet. There is almost a guarantee that after the suffering of going through a diet (any kind of restriction, or even “lifestyle change), you have a 95% chance of regaining the weight you lost, plus adding additional weight to your starting point. And it doesn’t matter if you exercise.
However, if you can maintain the practice of mindful eating, you will not be obsessive about what you eat, when you eat, or how much you eat. You will learn to trust your body, and pay attention to the natural signals of hunger and being full. Isn’t that a better way to go through life?
Rebuilding Trust In Your Body
To me, this is the most important issue with regard to the practice of mindfulness. It’s accepting that your body knows what the correct amount of food to eat is at any time.There’s never a once size fits all approach to how much to eat, like when you’ve been told to weigh your food, or make it fit into the palm of your hand size portion. This is totally worthless. And if you’ve been a chronic dieter, you’ve probably gotten used to being hungry, ignoring your feelings of hunger. There are times when you are going to be hungrier- like after doing some hard exercise. You NEED more food at those times, and not eating is harmful to your metabolism.
You’ve also been, at least dissatisfied with how your body looks. That dissatisfaction can be minor, or very extreme to the point where you HATE your body. Those feelings causes a physical response of stress within your physiology which have been clearly researched. Those feelings raise your cortisol level – the stress hormone. Your body feels attacked, and it doesn’t matter if the attack is from outside you, or inside you. It’s all the same.
Women, in particular have been conditioned to focus on their appearance from a very young age. We’re told as little girls that we’re so pretty, our clothes are pretty…. and that becomes the way we know we are valued and accepted. It’s not the same for boys who are told they’re smart or strong. And you can see the effect in life. Females are always concerned about their body- what clothes we wear, wearing shoes with high heels that can break your back, putting on make-up, dieting…. on to plastic surgery to fit what society says is the way we “should” look.
I’m particularly disgusted with the way that women feel like they have to be sexy and show off their bodies practically everywhere they go! When I go to the beach, women are almost naked. Men are wearing appropriate swimming attire that won’t get pulled down or off in a wave! I love tennis, but to see the difference in sports attire between men and women is sickening. Shorter and shorter tops and bottoms for women, and men wearing sports appropriate clothing. It’s time to wake up women!
It’s time to jettison this conditioning, this brainwashing and stop focusing on how our bodies look. Get out of the YOUniverse, and see your amazing, unique qualities that make you special. Dieting is part of the brainwashing – and it’s the “cure” (of fat) that CAUSES the condition (fat).
Realize that mindful eating is only going to be effective when you have learned how to manage stress. Your stress reaction is both a psychological response as well as a physical response. It can be to an event, or to harassment. You pick the things that you allow to stress you. Please don’t add self-hatred of our body. Stop dieting!