HEALTH AT EVERY SIZE
Health at Every Size - these are the buzz words around the internet these days. Are you healthy? Do you want to be healthier?
What is health? The World Health Organization defined health in its broader sense in 1946 as "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity". Being healthier doesn't mean losing weight. To you it might mean:
- eating better (such as reducing processed foods)
- exercising/moving more
- stopping smoking
- working on that depression
We are very happy to announce that we have a Registered Dietician on staff who will be writing our Health At Every Size series as well as answering a reader's question each month. You can read about Shari's philosophy and experience on our staff page. If you have a question for Shari, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: This advice is not intended to be a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical, health or nutritional advice.
Do YOU live in the moment?
Have you heard about the book 'French Women Don't Get Fat'? I have to say that I don't really like that title not because the new French generation is gaining weight but because it is condescending in so many ways. But I guess this is what we call an attention-grabbing title.
Anyway, the purpose of this article is not to debate the title but to talk about one important pearl of dietary wisdom from the book. As you go through the article, you'll probably think 'Nothing new here.'
And you'd be right but from time to time, wouldn't you agree that a quick reminder is helpful?
So here goes: Learn to live in the moment.
I'm not saying you should stop planning for your future. What I meant is that you cannot eat in the moment and watch TV or eat in the moment as well.
In other words, if you're driving, concentrate on the road or on the view. Avoid eating. Avoid drinking coffee.
If you do need to eat or drink, make a quick stop and take the time to enjoy every sip of coffee or every bite of whatever you're eating (yes, even if that is a donut). If that's not possible because of whatever reason, note down that reason and try to find a solution for it (like leaving a little bit earlier so you're not in a rush or sleeping earlier so that you have time to enjoy your coffee at home).
This will help you practice mindful eating. For a quick recap on how to eat mindfully, check out this article.
Wondering how mindful eating can help?
Well, research suggests that mindful eating increases satiety and improves digestion. You see, our body is only able to digest food properly when the nervous system is in the parasympathetic mode (also known as the rest and digest state). When we're talking on the phone or driving while eating (or anything else), the body will not be able to properly digest food. This can lead us to:
- Keep feeling hungry even if we've eaten enough.
- Feel hungry again quite rapidly.
- Feel bloated and gassy.
- Place our body under undue stress - this will suppress the immune system and can cause numerous health conditions.
However, for me, the most important aspects of mindful eating is that when you practice it, you are actually:
- Acknowledging that your body has the right to be properly fed and pampered.
- Practicing self-care (that's really important because none of us have spare bodies).
- Allowing yourself to unwind and take time to enjoy food.
- Eating without guilt. (Eating without being bothered about what society says or thinks.)
- Preventing yourself from feeling deprived as these kind of feelings can ultimately lead to bingeing.
Moreover, in the traditional French culture, there is no such thing as a food which is 'sinfully delicious'. I mean enjoying delicious food is NOT a sin no matter how 'unhealthy' society considers it to be.
Do you think that you could give yourself time to truly enjoy the next meal you eat?
Submitted by: Shari
Feel free to post about your own journey with Health At Every Size, any questions you may have or suggestions for future topics on our Facebook page or our Forums. Shari also has her own Facebook page .