If you are looking forward to maintaining a healthy body in 2022, a couple of experts have made up a New Year resolution for you all, which is ‘stop dieting, learn to savor your food.’ Health experts always suggest that one should follow a diet, which they can continue in long term. In a chat with The Indian Express, the health experts shared how adversely dieting impacts the body and why is it essential to get a hold of the mind rather than blindly following a diet plan.
Dr Judson Brewer, an associate professor in behavioral and social sciences at the Brown University School of Public Health, stated that quitting dieting does not mean giving up on having a healthier body. All you have to do is conquer the dieting habit and let go of the long-standing parameters like — counting calories, banning your favorite foods, and measuring success on a scale. The expert, who has studied mindful eating practices, suggested that willpower doesn’t work, one should know how the mind works.
Traci Mann, head of the health and eating laboratory at the University of Minnesota, said that apart from the disappointment of not keeping weight off, dieting impacts the body in a number of negative ways because restrictive eating can impact memory and executive function. It can also lead to obsessive food thoughts, and trigger a surge in cortisol production, which is a stress hormone.
Author of ‘Secrets From the Eating Lab: The Science of Weight Loss, the Myth of Willpower, and Why You Should Never Diet Again’, Mann opined that dieting is an unpleasant way to lose weight. According to the author, one might shed off kilos in the short term, but it does come back, no matter if a person has great willpower or a crappy one.
How to get rid of the dieting thought?
1. Focus should be right.
People should work on slowing down and not think about what they eating and why they are eating it. Don’t focus on weight loss, food restrictions, or eliminating favorite foods from the diet, and also don’t label foods as “good” or “bad.” Focus on the tastes and textures of food, and how you feel before, during, and after eating a particular plate of food. Bringing mindful awareness about what an individual is eating is not a cakewalk, people take time to learn it.
2. Map your eating habits.
It is important to understand three elements of eating habits: a trigger, a behavior, and a result. When you map your habits, you provide your brain with new information about how these food habits make you feel.
- Choose one eating behavior you want to change.
- Now note down what triggers this behavior. Is it an emotion, or do you reward yourself with a treat? It could even be a situation like watching television or grocery shopping.
- Focus on the result, before you eat, ask yourself a couple of questions. What will I get from this? How will this food make me feel? Think about the last time you ate it. Did you eat too much? Did you feel full or nauseated? Did you feel guilty? Thinking about how a plate of food makes you feel before, during, and after you eat updates the information to the brain.