Mindful Eating

I used to ask myself all the time—“What is “normal” (Mindful) eating? ” Wait, actually I still do that. Doesn’t all of America? Isn’t everybody looking for that perfect diet to satisfy themselves? Or to try and look better in their clothes or at least feel better? Nowadays it seems as though everyone is trying to lose unwanted weight. We are bombarded with numerous infomercials and pop-ups about “miracle diets. ” The funny thing is that these so called “fad diets” change as often as the time on the clock does.

The only real way to lose weight is to eat less, correct? I have tried various dieting methods (i. e.The Cabbage Soup, The Lemonade, Low Carb, High Protein, and other fad diets) in hopes of losing weight and altering my body and feelings. These normally last a couple weeks up to a month and even sometimes an entire year. But the one I have tried and believe is the best is “mindful/normal eating”. This type of eating habit does not even seem like a “diet” to me. I simply eat reasonably throughout the day and try to keep my daily nutritional values within the normal range. In short, mindful eating is flexible. It varies in response to my hunger, my schedule, and of course, my proximity to food and just how I am feeling.

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In comparison, the Yo-Yo dieting methods, also known as weight cycling, is pretty rigid, and is not normally fun. It refers to the cyclical up and down motion of a yo-yo. I always initially notice the weight loss and body transformations, which at first make me feel really good. However, these fad diets are very hard to maintain and thus I am unsuccessful at keeping the weight off long term. I start feeling discouraged and begin to regain the weight. And before I know it, I have started the cycle all over again. The two diets or methods of eating share one common goal, which is weight loss.

However, there are many differences between the two. The most notable are: (1) types of foods and drinks I can and cannot have (flexibility), (2) health factors—benefits versus problems, and most importantly, my levels of satisfaction and dissatisfaction. With the mindful eating approach I feel like most human beings should feel satisfied. I get to have a normal day of eating. I can have cereal or bacon and eggs or coffee for breakfast. I am able to have some snacks throughout the day, between meals. I can sit down and have a nice meal for dinner—pastas, steak, salads with real dressings on them, and let’s not forget pizza.

This diet allows me to be flexible in my nutritional ways. The most notable difference between the two diets is that the Cabbage Soup diet is a quick fix, fad diet, and the Mindful Eating method is simply learning to be mindful of the food you put into your body on a daily basis. (you’ll need to add more details related to this point) Another difference is the flexibility of the diets. The cabbage soup diet is rigid and strict with a specified list of foods to eat at certain times during the day. The mindful-eating plan allows you to choose healthy foods when you are hungry.

It also teaches you to learn to listen to your body’s hunger cues. The dieter is in charge on the mindful-eating plan, providing he/she stays mindful and chooses healthy foods. The dieter has no control on the cabbage soup diet, and typically feels hungry on this diet. When done “correctly,” the Cabbage Soup Diet can produce weight loss, but typically the dieter will gain the weight back, and sometimes more, when normal eating habits resume. On the Mindful-eating plan, if done properly, retrains a person to become aware of what he/she is eating on a daily basis and to pay attention to their body, hunger, feelings about food, etc.

In conclusion, there is no “quick fix” for weight loss. However, plenty of studies have shown that fad diets simply don’t work long term and that being mindful and eating healthy for life will result in weight loss and a healthier body. I would choose Mindful-eating over the Cabbage Soup diet because it simply makes more sense to be aware of what goes into my body, eat healthier foods, and enjoy the process. The Cabbage Soup diet allows for nothing but fatigue, hunger, and a less healthier body. (the ending needs a bit of work)

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