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Your Healthy Family: Mindful eating over dieting

Posted at 7:42 AM, Nov 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-05 07:42:05-04

With the holidays approaching, it can be hard to keep your health in check. A psychologist said trying "mindful eating" instead of dieting can help you stay on track with your goals.

"It's tempting to return to dieting, but research indicates that people who diet lose weight initially, and then gain it back, plus additional weight. Mindful eating is not a diet. There are no menus or recipes. It’s more about focusing on how you eat," Dr. Susan Albers, a Psychologist with Cleveland Clinic, said.

Dr. Albers said when it comes to mindful eating, consider the Three S's:

  • Sit down while you eat. Research shows we eat five-percent more while standing up.
  • Slowly chew. This can improve digestion and help you to enjoy your food even more.
  • Smile between bites. Dr. Albers said smiling releases neurotransmitters that make you happier and can reduce mindless or emotional eating. It also gives you a moment to pause, and ask yourself if you’re actually still hungry.

She also recommends thinking about the kinds of snacks you're packing for work, school, or when you're on the go.

"It’s really important to bring snacks to work. You may find that the boxes of donuts and cookie jars and candy jars that people put their hands into are gone. This makes it even more critical that you bring healthy snacks to work that are going to keep you focused, energized, and boost your concentration," Dr. Albers said.

She said bringing healthy snack options like nuts, pumpkin seeds, mandarin oranges or berries — basically anything high in Vitamin D, magnesium, and selenium — will make you feel better, and be more productive.