Lisa Young, a registered dietitian nutritionist and author of “Finally Full, Finally Slim,” agrees. Mindful eating and healthy weight loss strategies can coexist, she said, speaking at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo, the world’s largest annual meeting of food and nutrition professionals.
“Mindful eating is a tool to help with weight loss,” Young said. “It helps you focus on your hunger and fullness levels, so you are eating because you are hungry, and you want that food — not because a big portion is in front of you.”
Being mindful during eating includes taking the time to sit down without any distractions, slowing down our pace of eating and tasting our food, explained registered dietitian nutritionist Lisa Stollman, who spoke on a panel with Young. “Doing things like that will help us get healthier and lose weight in a non-dieting way,” Stollman said.Mindful or intuitive eating can also help you ask yourself: “Do I like this food? or “Am I really hungry?” It can also help you note when you are satisfied. “This ultimately helps you eat a smaller portion and eat less,” said Young, who is also an adjunct professor of nutrition at New York University.
“You don’t just want to lose weight and have an unhealthy relationship with food,” Young said. Yes, it’s OK to lose weight, while also being positive towards your body and treating yourself well…with kindness and compassion.”
The real meaning of ‘diet’
Losing weight by eating mindfully can significantly reduce chronic health issues, which is important for the 74% percent of US adults who are overweight or obese. “We know people are overweight or obese are at much higher risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes and many types of cancer — and we can’t ignore that,” Stollman said. Losing 5% of your body weight — that’s 10 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds — can help to improve blood glucose levels, decreasing the risk for Type 2 diabetes. It can also help to improve cholesterol and blood pressure.But anti-diet culture doesn’t typically focus on the benefits of weight loss. “A lot of unhealthy diets have the word ‘diet’ in the name, so it’s assumed that a diet is a rigid, prescriptive, restrictive lifestyle plan you do to get to a goal,” Young explained. The word “diet,” however, is defined in Merriam-Webster …….