Being mindful can make you healthier
We are always asked what makes us different; why should someone choose to join us? A key element that sets us apart is alongside a training schedule to support your physical development, and balanced food advice to support your nutritional development, we also support our members in their psychological development to better understand their body and the journey to a stronger, fitter version of themselves.
Recently whilst speaking to a member, she discussed how she is struggling to manage her time in relation to training and managing her nutrition. It seems to be a recurring theme – not enough time to manage food and nutrition, and so it’s all too easy to grab an unhealthy snack, or wait until a large meal and overeat.
Our advice – mindfulness and meditation. Now you wouldn’t assume that this would be the first place to start – after all, how is that going to help with nutrition?
Well let’s break this down. Mindfulness is a state of being conscious and aware of something, in this case your food and nutrition. Here at U Fit Studio, our coaches are all trained and qualified with Precision Nutrition certification. We remind our members that as part of their journey, be it to lose fat, gain muscle or get stronger, they need to build a positive relationship with food.
This is easier said than done. The body likes things to stay the same, aka homeostasis. When homeostasis is interrupted, the body tries to self-regulate and get back on track. With body weight, there are internal challenges in maintaining homeostasis. As nutrients are used, they must be replaced. Our bodies say “Please replenish these nutrients”, aka “Eat.” Our bodies say “Thank you, that’s enough for what I require”, aka “Stop eating.”
When we honour homeostatic hunger signals, we achieve optimal health. If we eat when we are not hungry, the distraction and pleasure are only temporary; consequently, we have to eat more to feel better, feeding the cycle.
If we do not eat when we are hungry, our body gets us back eventually by cranking up our appetite signals and smothering our fullness signals. The biggest trigger of binge eating? Dieting.
This is where mindfulness comes in. It involves:
- Slowing down the pace of eating (e.g., break during bites, chewing slowly, etc.).
- Eating away from distractions (e.g., television, books, magazines, work, computer, driving).
- Becoming aware of the body’s hunger and fullness cues and utilizing these cues to guide the decision to begin and end eating as opposed to following a regimented diet plan.
- Acknowledging food likes and dislikes without judgment.
- Choosing to eat food that is both pleasing and nourishing, and using all of the senses while eating.
- Being aware of and reflecting on the effects caused by non-mindful eating (e.g., eating when bored or lonely or sad, eating until overly full).
- Meditation practice as a part of life (you don’t need to replicate a Buddhist monk here, there are many forms).
If you feel you are struggling with your food and nutrition, or are unable to implement this then contact us for more information.