Mindful Eating doesn’t work for Weight Loss

Minfulness and Weight Loss

It’s anxiety …

… that’s why we are not mindful when we are eating or doing most anything else for that matter. Our anxiety keeps us in our heads, with thoughts frantically passing through our minds like a photo-slide-show on overdrive.

Sure it’s great to slow down and be mindful of what we are doing, but how long can we keep that level of focus up for? Certainly not hours. And if we could do a solid hour of mindfulness eating, what would that do for us? For that meal we’d register a success; no overeating. Then it would dawn on us that we would have to do this for the rest of our lives.

Hours and hours of pure discipline, with our anxiety pulling at us with increasing strength as time passes. A sense of resignation comes over us before we rationalize that “mindfulness is good,” but maybe there’s a better way.

A BETTER WAY

Every long term problem has two components to solving it.

1- The long, slow road to growth and change.

In our case, it means tackling the anxiety which as you know is a 5 to 10 year process depending on how far you’ve come already, and how much emphasis you put onto the work needed to take it on.

That doesn’t sound very appealing to most people and it’s no wonder. Who wants that? Who wants to hear that on top of all of the other stresses and problems in life, that now you have to take on this anxiety task. A project really that takes the effort of getting a Master’s degree and also takes center stage in your life.

2- Management

Managing your issue means doing something that can help in the here and now. It’s not acceptable to wait 10 years before being able to eat properly so in the meantime you need to do something to alleviate the problems the issue is causing.

In this case, meaning mindful eating, what would be beneficial would be to take a quick pause/breath before eating to set yourself up mentally and then let go of the focus. So if you’re sitting down for supper you’d get into the habit of pausing, taking a deep breath and making sure your plate has on it the types and amount of food you want to eat for that meal, and then move on.

Doing this sets up limits in your brain so that you won’t mindlessly eat more because someone offers, because it’s there in front of you or because you have a habit of snacking on foods before, during and after eating.

A LIMITED CAUSE

Mindfulness has it’s benefits. It makes you more aware of what you are doing and so it’s great to be mindful. But being mindful ad infinitum never solves the problem. It just makes you aware of it over and over again. Like a doctor reminding you you have high blood pressure every visit instead of telling you once and then moving on to solutions.

It’s understandable why people look for other ways of solving their emotional difficulties. For one they aren’t aware that their anger/anxiety is the problem. Or they may know but not know what to do about it. They may know on some level but choose to avoid or distract from the monster that is anxiety. Or they may not want to have to do the work and go down that long and tiresome road to improvement.

If they knew that doing THAT WORK would solve most every other problem in their lives then maybe they’d see differently. Our emotions are foundational to every other part of our lives.

It’s not just “the” work to be done, it is the ONLY WORK to be done. Everything else flows from that.

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