An article posted in the Daily Star last month boasted that a few simple mindful eating tricks could help you lose weight, stating that many of us are mindlessly overeating.
“Have you ever opened a packet of biscuits and accidentally eaten the entire pack? If so, you’re not alone.”
So far I can completely relate, and the message seems to be a sensible one, be aware of what you’re eating. So let’s go through the article and find the truth in the clickbait.
According to the article, research published by Harvard Medical School has shown that mindfulness could be the key to long-term weight loss. The paper talks about the mind-gut connection, reminding us that hormonal signals from the gut and nervous system can take about 20 minutes to reach the brain to register satiety.
In other words, your brain can still think you’re hungry for 20 minutes after you’re actually full.
It goes on to suggest that eating while multitasking can stop digestion in a similar way to the fight or flight response, often resulting in the full nutritive value of our food not being digested.
A treatment for eating disorders
Mindful eating strategies have been recommended to help treat eating disorders as well. Psychologist Jean Kristeller at Indiana State University and colleagues at Duke University conducted an NIH-funded study of mindful eating techniques for the treatment of binge eating.
Mindfulness-based therapy was found to help participants enjoy their food more and have less sense of struggle about controlling their eating.
All of this is great, yet noticeably absent from the Daily Star article, whose title “How to lose weight: Harvard scientists reveal six one-minute tricks to help shed belly fat” seems right at home amongst photos of celebrity cellulite and articles like “you won’t believe what this soapstar looks like now!”
Want to lose weight but can’t find the willpower? These simple, mindful eating tricks can help you beat the bulge.
Insert eye roll.
But despite the quick-fix style of journalism that’s fairly typical for the Daily Star, there’s plenty of truth in the research to suggest that mindful eating can actually help people.
How to start mindful eating
The researchers listed 6 “tips” to help you introduce mindful eating into your daily routine, recommending eating one meal a day/week in this more attentive manner to get used to it.
- Set your kitchen timer for 20 minutes, and take that time to eat a normal-sized meal.
- Try eating with your non-dominant hand; if you’re a righty, hold your fork in your left hand when lifting food to your mouth.
- Use chopsticks if you don’t normally use them.
- Eat silently for five minutes, thinking about what it took to produce that meal, from the sun’s rays to the farmer to the grocer to the cook.
- Take small bites and chew well.
- Before opening the fridge or cabinet, take a breath and ask yourself, “Am I really hungry?” If not, then do something else, like reading or going on a short walk.
So this clickbait-style article seems to be fairly helpful. While it may gloss over some of the finer points and fail to address anything to do with the nutritional content of the food you’re mindfully eating, it cites a valid study that could help us to break unconscious eating habits.
In other words, it’s helpful but it’s not the entire answer.
Gay Personal Trainers
For advice and information about health and fitness that isn’t clickbait, your best bet is working with a gay personal trainer. They can design a training and nutrition program to suit your individual needs, and be on hand to help coach you towards your goals. The next best thing is to subscribe to Gay Fitness UK on Apple News and Google News!
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