Mindful Eating: A Contributing Factor to Weight Loss

By Ellen Kittredge, CHC (www.ellenkittredge.com)

I’m sure you’ve heard that old saying: “Where attention goes, energy flows.” If you concentrate on your food – what you are eating – you will absorb and assimilate the actual nutrients in it – and thus need to eat less food overall.

The opposite, of course, is also true: the less awareness you bring to the table, the more you’ll need to eat, thus leading to excess weight gain.

How often do you eat your meals in front of the computer, checking emails and shoveling food in at the same time, or mindlessly watching TV, and going back for seconds on that bowl of ice cream before you realize that you didn’t even taste the first bowl?

There are two specific examples I’d like to share that will explain how lack of awareness of what we are eating leads to weight gain. It is my hope that this information will inspire you to have more awareness around the actual consumption of food, thus making it easier to lose any weight you are looking to let go of! Thanks to Marc David, and “The Slow Down Diet” for inspiration for this topic.

Examples:

#1 is something called the Cephalic Phase Digestive Response (CPDR). CPDR is the pleasure of taste, aroma, satisfaction and visual stimulation of a meal. 30-40 of the total digestive response to any meal is due to CPDR – our full awareness of what we are eating. So, if we are distracted while eating, we are metabolizing our meal at only 60-70% efficiency.

And why would this lead to weight gain? It’s simple. We need to eat more to feel satisfied. To see weight loss, our metabolism needs to be functioning optimally. That means we want to be metabolizing our food at 100%, all the time.

#2. In a test where subjects were given a mineral drink to test for absorption of sodium and chloride, when in a relaxed state, the test subject absorbed 100%. At different session when given the same mineral drink while exposed to dichotomous listening (two people talking to them at the same time) the results showed that participants had a complete shutdown in absorption of chloride and sodium for one full hour afterwards. Basically, they completely lost the ability to absorb these nutrients when they were not focusing on the food and were in a heightened state of stress where they were trying to listen to two stimuli at the same time. Perhaps you could imagine a scenario where you just sat down in front of the TV to eat your dinner, and your child or partner is calling to you from the kitchen…

Consider bringing more awareness to the table for your next meal. Not only will this benefit your health and your waistline, you’ll probably enjoy your food more too!

Why I recommend Ellen by Jen

Nutrition Counselor, Ellen KittredgeEllen understands that changing eating habits can be challenging, even monumental.  She has her clients make small changes at a time, rather than having them completely revamp their fridge and pantry.  Ellen understands there is no one-diet-fits-all and everyone responds to food differently.

Ellen works with clients in person in the DC area but she also offers counseling by phone.  She understands that people have busy schedules but she also encourages her clients to take time for their health.

Ellen is offering  21-day Fall Forward Cleanse Program beginning October 3.  The last day to sign up is Tuesday, September 27.  To contact Ellen, visit her website at ellenkittredge.com.

 

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One comment on “Mindful Eating: A Contributing Factor to Weight Loss

  1. hey Jen. this is great, thanks. Been staying current with Ellen’s newsletter and I see the cleanse dates. I am strenuously considering doing the cleanse again, but Oct is a busy travel month for me. What worked great about March was that I had no travel during that period – very unusual for me. I have three multi-day trips between Oct 3 and 24. But I think I’ll go for it anyway and ask Ellen for some tips for managing travel. she shared some during the last cleanse when she took a trip of her own. I’ll talk to her next week. Are you doing it? I’ll see you when you get back here – if you stay over we can do some food experiments on Jim :). Lisa

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