Stopping overeating is the key to reaching a healthy weight. In the last few episodes we've looked at how to stop overeating from different angles. Today we're going to dive into mindful eating. What is mindful eating and how can it help you stop overeating?
Hello and welcome to Fit and Fabulous with me, Dr Orlena Kerek. I hope that you are feeling amazing.
Spring is finally here. Hooray! I love spring here in Spain, you can start to see the little bright green leaves coming out. The fields are amazingly green. By the time we get to summer that green has turned to brown, which I also love.
There's a time for every season, but spring is that lush beautiful time. That reminds me of my childhood growing up in the beautiful Devon in the South West of England.
Today, we are going to talk about mindful eating, which is the last piece of the puzzle. I haven't checked out the four episodes that I did on How to Stop overeating, go and check those out.
This is the flip side. We didn't talk about this during those sessions because it requires a session all by itself.
There's one thing that unites everybody who would like to get back to a weight that they feel is more healthy. It's overeating.
Once you can let go of overeating and fix that problem, your body will naturally lose weight.
I've said this so many times, ideally, you want to be eating healthy food. The reality is that if you aren't overeating and you aren't eating healthy food, you still can lose weight.
It's so powerful to go over thinking about how to stop overeating. I'm going to actually wrap up all the podcasts and the information into a workshop. It's a "How to Stop Overeating" workshop.
I will be offering as a bonus for anybody who comes and does My healthy You, Healthy Family Program in April. I will tell you more about that later on. It's going to be super exciting and I'm itching with excitement.
To get started, this How to Stop Overeating workshop will be a bonus.
I want to read this quote that Kara sent me. She said,
"There's something I have noticed over the past few weeks since we worked together. When I feel the urge to grab chocolate or another treat, I'm choosing other kinds of self-care instead. It's working.”
“I'm no longer overeating since we talked about overeating. Now I'm consistently eating smaller portions, not feeling any urge to go back for seconds.”
"I'm excited to meet the version of myself with a more normal BMI. Thank you so much Dr Orlena for your help.”
Isn't that absolutely fabulous?
I'm super happy and super excited to meet that version of yourself with a normal BMI. It will help you along that journey. So if you're listening now, I am excited for you too.
Before we dive into mindful eating, just a few things. You may have noticed that I have let Dr Orlena's Office Hours fall a little bit by the wayside. I'm working so hard on the challenge that I don't have the capacity to be able to do all these things.
I went through a stage where I was doing so many of the Likes and Dislikes Exercise.
If you haven't heard about the Likes and Dislikes Exercise, It's amazing. You can dial up your "like" for something you don't like and dial down your like, for something that you don't like.
If you have a craving, you can dial down your like, your desire for it.
Absolutely amazing results. People are turning it around in the space of an hour's session. I got to the stage where I could no longer fit people in. I have started charging for that session.
A little hint. It might also be one of the bonuses that I'm offering in the program that's coming up.
Another hint, if you don't want to pay the $299, sign up for Dr Orlena's Why I'm Overeating Quiz and get a massive discount.
I've stopped doing the office hours for a moment until after I've got through this busy period. It will be after Easter. I'm so busy working on this challenge which will available for sign-up on April the fifth. That is this Monday coming up.
It's absolutely amazing. The challenge is called the "Healthy You, Healthy Family Habit challenge. It's going to be all the tools that you need to create one healthy habit.
People sort of say, "What do you mean habit?" In order for it to be easy, you just do it automatically without thinking about it.
In that week, we are going to be looking at healthy eating, "What is healthy eating?"
We will also talk about looking at kids and picky eating, looking at cravings. We will also be looking at emotional eating and how to make it easy and how to apply it to your life.
Come and sign up! That is going to start on April the 12th. All the sessions will be happening at 2:00 PM Eastern time. It will be taking place in my Facebook group.
If you're already a member of the Facebook group, that's fabulous, you will get access. If you sign up, you will also get reminders that will be sent to you. You have to be in the Facebook group to be able to access them. It's going to be a group of people.
If you come and join in, we're going to create a community of other people doing this and helping each other out. I love communities because when we see other people doing well, it inspires us to do well.
So come and join and enjoy the challenge.
There are going to be prizes too. I am super excited about the prizes which range from Lush vouchers.
(I love Lush. Don't you?)
What else? coaching with me and a pack massage. I love the pack massage. That's going to be another prize.
And how do you get these prizes? the more you join and the more you engage on Facebook. Also, pay the Facebook group sign up and attend the Facebook lives, invite other people.
All these kinds of things will give you a chance to win those prizes. Super, super exciting and fun.
What exactly is mindful eating and why should we bother with it? I don't know about you but when I walk around town, I often see kids coming out of school.
In their hands, they have a chocolate bar or a chocolate croissant. They're walking along and munching on the chocolate croissant and not paying attention. That is not mindful eating.
Another example, when you sit down at dinner and wolf your dinner down and you are not touching the sides. You go to the movies and your brain makes these associations: movies-popcorn movies-candy.
There's that link there. You find yourself eating food without thinking about it. When we're not thinking about it, it's easy to overeat.
We aren't listening to the signals that our body is telling us. Signals take a little bit of time to develop so it's very easy to eat food.
If you will fall forth down the food, your body hasn't created that signal of "I'm full. My glucose levels have gone up", "Hey, just stop. You don't need to eat anymore." Our brain is busy doing things on habit.
Another thing that I've touched on is that quite often we take our cues to stop eating from external cues.
Looking at our plate and thinking, "Oh, my plate has still got food on. I need to finish my plate" as opposed to listening to our body and saying, "Hey buddy, do you feel like you've got enough food?"
Your body will tell you when you can listen to that. You can see that the things that we do rushing around mean that we aren't practising mindful eating.
We are overeating all these little places where we are overeating.
Mindful eating is an easy and useful tool to implement. We can become more aware of what we're eating and more aware of our body signals so that we can stop overeating.
It can help people who are overeating, binge-eating. It can even help if you're eating a reasonable amount.
You want to stop eating the unhealthy stuff and eat more of the healthy stuff and be mindful about that.
So what is mindful eating? it's super easy.
It is essential in a nutshell, stopping and paying attention to what you're doing. It's about having your mind on that thing.
"This is what I'm doing right now. I'm eating and I'm focusing on eating and I'm not doing anything else, just paying attention to eating.”
It's a skill that a lot of us have lost.
There are different steps.
1. Think about your environment. When you're eating, you want to be sitting down at a table with no distractions. You're not reading a book, no mobile devices, not watching a screen. You're just sitting down either by yourself or with a group of people. And you're focusing on that food.
There are times when you can't sit at a table, you may be going on a picnic. You can sit on a blanket, you may be out and about, but normally you can stop and say, "I am going to focus on my food."
It might be that you're at the park with your kids and it's time to have a snack. Instead of giving the snack and allowing the kids to run around, you can say, "okay, we're going to have snack time." Let's sit on this bench and we can focus on our food, just let our bodies relax.
Do the business of digesting for a little bit then you can go back to playing at the park. It doesn't have to be complicated. It can be super easy.
2. Take your time. You don't have to rush in. Sit down, throw your head back, pull your food in and then run away. Start by taking a pause and say, "Okay, I'm going to eat some food now."
I love teaching my children and myself, reminding myself about how the food has got to our table. It's easy in this day and age to take it for granted.
All we have to do is go to the supermarket and pick up the packet of the fruit and the vegetable. Yes, we do have to take it home. We do have to prepare it. We have to remind ourselves about the entire journey that food has had to come to our table. It's a good way of pausing and being grateful for all the systems that are in place.
For example, you could take some raisins. What has happened to the raisins? they have been in a grapevine somewhere. They have been farmed. So think of all the work that has gone into growing those grapes, someone has grown the plants. They've taken care to water them. They've looked after them. We did the fields.
They've come and gathered the grapes at harvest time. They've been dried out somewhere. They've been packaged. They've been varied to the supermarket or to a warehouse. Eventually, you have bought them and they've come home. You can do that for every single item of food that you have.
Obviously, you don't have to do it every single day but take time to appreciate the food.
The food that is in front of you and the miracle of it being on your plate even if you have grown it in your garden. I love growing things in my garden. One of the things I grow in my garden is chard because here in Spain it kind of grows like a weed.
It's easy to grow. I just put some seeds in, do very little. Suddenly I look in my back garden and I've got some chards and I've done essentially nothing. This chard has just appeared. To me, that feels like absolute magic.
Even if you have grown the food yourself, take time to remember all the things. Remember all that you have done to help that food get to your plate.
3. Slow down when you're eating. It's so easy to eat rushing around. It's so easy to just shovel all the food in. We get a quick sensation of yum, gulp, yum, gulp, but take time to savour the food that is on your plate.
Notice all the different things about it. Notice the smell, the colour, the texture, the temperature. Notice all these different things. Slow down as you eat the food, cut it up into smaller portions, smaller bite pieces.
Take a moment to pause before you put it in your mouth. Think about what it's going to taste like, what it's going to feel like. Then when you put it in your mouth for a little bit longer and savour that experience of eating that food. Slow the whole meal down.
Another thing I would add is if you want to have seconds have a pause between your first plate and your second plate. This allows those signals to catch. It's so easy to say, "I want to eat more because I enjoy the sensation of eating as opposed to actually feeling hungry.
Notice all the sensations that are going on. Notice what's happening inside your body.
Is your body beginning to feel full up? Remember to stop eating when you are 80% full.
It's so easy to eat until you are fully bursting. You don't need to eat until you awfully bursting. Eat till you feel satisfied, content, but not when you're about to pop.
I would say 80%.
See how easy mindful eating is? That's essentially it. It's about slowing down, taking time and really noticing what you're eating.
Think about your environment. Slow down before you eat. Slow down and notice whilst you're eating and then stop eating when you feel satisfied. If you can do that, you will tune into your hunger signals and your body.
When your body is saying, you know what, “I'm actually hungry. I need some fuel now” rather than, “Hey, this food tastes great, let's eat more.”
One final thought, mindful eating is not about not enjoying food. Actually the reverse. It's about really relishing and enjoying your food. It's about taking the time to acknowledge that you are enjoying your food rather than skipping over that enjoyment.
One exercise I really love is to think about a treat that you would like. For example, if you like eating a delicious apple slice which happens to be my favourite. I don't eat an apple slice every day. In fact, I rarely eat an apple slice, but when I do eat an Apple slice, I cherish every single moment. I enjoy the experience of eating that apple slice.
So it's more about getting maximum enjoyment rather than the maximum amount of food.
Mindful eating is the last key to the series of How to Stop Overeating.
Now, what I want you to do is go and do this today at dinner time.
Do it again tomorrow at dinner time.
Gradually, the more you do it, the more it will turn into a habit.
Talking about habits, remember that the Healthy You Healthy Family Habits Challenge is ready for sign up on April the fifth. It's going to kick off on April the 12th. It is going to be amazing loads of free content and tools. You will need these to create small changes with a powerful impact and result.
I am looking forward to helping you on that journey.
See you. I will be back again next week. Have a lovely week.
Wouldn't it be amazing if you could dial down your cravings for certain foods?
Or increase your like for healthy foods? Wouldn't that make healthy eating so much easier?
Well, you can! In just 30 minutes.
Alea didn't like blueberries until she did the Magic Likes exercise. She was eating them and enjoying them by the end of the call!
Tory stopped eating pretzels after she did the exercise.
Find out more about Dr Orlena's Magic Likes and Dislikes Exercise.
(Psst... if you sign up for the "Overeating quiz" you can get a huge discount!)
Dr Orlena Kerek (MBChB from the University of Bristol, UK) trained as a pediatric doctor. She is now a family health coach. She helps busy mums who want to feel amazing by eating healthy food. So they can enjoy a healthy life, get back into their honeymoon shorts and teach their kids healthy habits. All without thinking about it.
If you want a healthy family and a healthy lifestyle without having to think about it. And you'd like help, book a 30-minute "Healthy Life Roadmap" call here.