Thursday, August 12, 2010

Happiness Inventory, part 3 of 3 (Lose Weight for Good)

As promised, here are the last 5 tips in the Happiness Inventory, part 3 (Losing Weight for Good).  If you didn't get to read the first two parts, here they are:
Happiness Inventory, part 1
Happiness Inventory, part 2

6.     Don't eat until you have had your morning (um) visit to the potty. Ayurvedic medicine teaches that the health of a person depends on the health of their gut.  That is to say delicately, if your belly isn't happy, then you aren't either. One of the 13 urges not to be avoided in Ayurveda is elimination.  If you do have problems with digestion seek out the help of a holistic practitioner - which could be a physician, naturopath, TCM physician, or Ayurvedic practitioner.  Medical professionals trained in both east/west medicine can help you get your gut back on track to a happy existence - leading to better digestion, metabolism, nutrient absorption, and a healthier (and trimmer) you.

7.     Never eat while multi-tasking. If you are doing something else while you are eating, chances are you are not paying attention to what (or how much) you are eating. Focus on the experience of eating, and nothing more.  You will enjoy your food, those you are in the company of, and be able to control portion sizes much easier. Read more

8.     Not hungry? It's okay to skip a meal.  We have been very conditioned to never skip meals - whether by our mothers (sorry mom!), pop culture fitness magazines, or professionals.  However, not skipping meals has led to "autopilot" eating, or eating just because the clock strikes "breakfast, lunch, and dinner."   

Don't eat out of habit. Eat when you are hungry. In fact, there is so much bad press about skipping meals - it is hard to find anyone who dares condone skipping a meal or snack.  However, you need to ask yourself a very important question? Why are you hungry? Is it boredom, stress, habit, or you are actually hungry? If you are truly hungry, by all means - eat and nourish your body.  If you are not, wait until you are hungry - then truly savor and enjoy your meal.

Eat to live, as the old adage says, rather than live to eat.

*If you are diabetic, then you need a carefully scripted plan from your nutritionist - who will help you decide when and what you should eat - and above all - how to determine when and if you truly need food.

9.     Pray. Meditate or pray to cultivate the courage, fortitude, and strength to carry out your goal of enjoying a happy weight.  Quite often we pray or meditate for our own health or the health and well being of others. But, are we being specific enough?

My prayer is "May the food I take in nurture, strengthen, and fortify my body for the good work I need to pursue on this earth. If it does not or will not, then may my stomach (and nose) be turned off by the sight or smell of it."  It seems simple - but prayer and meditation continue to be my "super-duper" secret weight management weapons. 

10.     Know When to Stop Eating.    One of the most powerful tools that has taken me the greatest distance (besides switching to an organic, local, and seasonal diet) in maintaining a healthy weight is knowing when to stop eating. 

Your satiety center signals lets you know when to stop eating.  What is satiety? Satiety is not feeling full, but rather feeling satisfied. This means your stomach will not feel full. Being satsifed feels like you have a little "wiggle" room and are comfortable and light - like you could take a brisk walk and not feel heavy from food.  Stop eating at the first sign of satisfaction. In other words, don't eat until your stomach feels full. 

Mindful eating allows the hypothalamus cells (satiety center) time to get signals and suppress the desire for further food. If you eat quickly, mindlessly (while driving or at your desk for example), or until your stomach actually feels full, then you have likely overeaten. Your stomach will feel stretched and you'll have that "gotta unbutton my pants" feeling.

Happy Eating & Breathing In This Life!

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