Think About Your Next MealIN WEIGHT MANAGEMENT
Americans spent $62 billion on weight-loss products and gym memberships last year, yet two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. A mindful approach to eating might help you lose weight without dieting by helping you be attentive to your body’s cues for fullness or healthier choices your body needs.
The goal of mindful eating is to enjoy food, taking time to savor each bite. Eliminate distractions, take time to thoroughly chew food, and ponder the texture and flavor of the foods as you eat. Through mealtime reflection, you might realize you don’t need to eat as much.
Begin Your Practice
Mindful eating might not be practical for every meal at first. Try eating mindfully one meal each week, increasing the frequency of this approach as you get accustomed to the practice. For beginners, try:
- Chewing each bite 25 to 30 times
- Eating without talking or short periods of silence
- Eliminating distractions, such as computers, phones and televisions
- Planting a garden to reconnect with how food is created
- Using candles and flowers to promote serenity at mealtime
Sweet Surprise or Dark Secret?
High-fructose corn syrup might have the same calories as sugar, but not the same impact on metabolism. Researchers at Princeton University have shown that high-fructose corn syrup is metabolized differently than table sugar, causing weight gain and health complications. The study fed rats a combination of rat food and water with sugar at the level used in sodas and compared them to another group given rat food and high-fructose corn syrup at half the concentration found in soft drinks.
The results were dramatic, and every rat given high-fructose corn syrup gained weight. The rats also had signs of metabolic syndrome, including an increase in visceral fat in the abdomen and the level of triglycerides circulating in the blood.
As you are mindful about your meals, make sure you pay attention to ingredients in certain foods and avoid high-fructose corn syrup when possible.
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Sources: choosemyplate.gov, newsinhealth.nih.gov, princeton.edu, heart.org, nytimes.com