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Mindful Eating During the Holidays

The holiday season is here and if you are concerned that you will gain weight like in past years, let me assure you that it doesn’t have to be that way.

 

Holiday weight gain often comes from mindless eating such as eating fast without even tasting the food, munching mindlessly on hor d’oeuvres before dinner or having that second piece of pecan pie because you felt pressured by the host.

 

In contrast, when you eat mindfully, you are more aware of your eating habits and the sensations you experience when you eat, such as the taste, texture and aroma of the food.

 

Here are 5 easy ways to get started.

 

  1. Slow down. Are you the first one to finish your meal or the last one? Before you begin eating, think about how you will proceed to eat your meal.  Consciously decide that you will slow down, and allow at least 20-30 minutes to eat.  Take the time to appreciate the food you are eating.

 

  1. Sit down at the table. Eating while standing in front of the refrigerator, buffet table or while walking around will decrease your attention and satisfaction with your meal. Instead, plan to sit while eating, even at a buffet party.  Fill your plate appropriately with food, and find a table to sit.  Friends and family will likely join you and you can enjoy nice conversation while being more mindful of your eating.

 

  1. Savor your food. Focus on each bite of food that you put into your mouth. Experience the taste, texture, flavors and aroma of the food.  Is it sweet, salty, sour, crunchy, or smooth?  Do you like it, dislike it, or it’s just okay?  If you aren’t fully satisfied with it, don’t finish it.

 

  1. Be in the moment. Are you fully present when you are eating?  Be sure to turn off the television, and avoid reading or talking on the phone while eating.  These activities take away from the mindfulness of eating.

 

  1. Put your fork down periodically throughout the meal. Observe what you do with your silverware during the meal. Do you keep it in your hand?  Are you preparing the next bite of food on the fork while chewing what’s in your mouth?  When you turn your attention to the next bite, you are not being mindful and completely miss the food that you are currently eating.  Instead of enjoying the food in your mouth, you are focusing on matters beyond the present.  So this year, put your fork down on the table while you are chewing and give all your attention to the food in your mouth.  When you finish that bite, pick up the fork and take another.

 

Another possible contributor to your holiday weight gain: food pushers.

 

If you have family or friends that are food pushers, it can be difficult to stop eating when you are full.  But it is OK to politely say “No thank you, I am full, but I will take a piece home for later.”  Many people will not push you any further, since you will be taking some home.

 

It is important to listen to your body and know when you are full.

 

Taking the time to listen to your body and following these 5 easy tips will get you started on your journey towards mindful eating and help you avoid unwanted holiday weight gain.

 

If you would my help and support through the holidays and New Year, just go to www.TalkWithBonnie.com and we’ll set up a time to talk.

 

Another New Weight Loss System that’s Doomed to Fail

balloonsTrying to figure out how the picture here connects with the blog title? Read on…

It is not unusual for you to open up a magazine or hear on TV about a new weight loss procedure or miracle diet/supplement to help you lose weight quickly.

If you are a chronic dieter, you probably take notice whenever there is a new “best” way to lose weight.  And, you’ve probably tried most if not all of them.

Well, today I had to write about another new weight loss procedure that is about to hit the market because I just can’t believe it.  I will describe it to you, without naming names (for good reason).

This latest FDA-approved weight-loss system is minimally invasive.  It consists of three tiny capsules, each containing an inflatable balloon attached to a catheter.  You would swallow each of the capsules, three weeks apart, and X-rays are taken to ensure they are just in the right spot.

(You would be swallowing inflatable balloons!)

Once the balloons are in the right spot, gas is pumped through the catheter, filling the balloon up.  The catheter is removed, and you would go home with a small balloon (or balloons) in your stomach.

The balloons stays there for six months, filling up the stomach.  This is meant to help you feel full so you don’t eat as much.  After six months, the balloons are removed via minimally-invasive endoscopic surgery.

UGH!

But, why do you need to resort to this type of procedure?

Wouldn’t it be better to learn why you feel the need to overeat, and to change your relationship with food?

The research for this procedure did have the volunteers meeting with a registered dietitian every three weeks, helping them making healthy lifestyle changes, which is good.  This system is meant to be done in conjunction with diet and exercise and the company says you would need to meet with a dietitian regularly as part of the program.

But, why not meet with a registered dietitian certified as an intuitive eating counselor to do the deeper work that you have to do NOW so you can finally be free of all these weight loss systems and procedures (which by the way doesn’t keep the weight off long term)?

This is where intuitive eating can be beneficial.  If you learn the why behind your eating and what is actually driving your overeating you will no longer seek to fill those needs with food! You will learn how to listen to your body’s hunger and satiety cues and give your body what it wants.

You CAN do this.  No device or procedure or pill is needed.

Remember, there is no “quick-fix” to obesity, it is a disease that requires a long-term solution via a multi-faceted approach.

Start by understanding the real reason(s) you overeat, the WHY behind your eating. As I have said many times before, it is not about the food.

If you would like my help to create a healthier relationship with food, your mind and your body, just go to www.TalkWithBonnie.com and we’ll set up a time to chat.

 

 

Read This if You are an Emotional Eater

facebook-live-ee-body-image-pvt-groupThere is nothing wrong with foods being a source of pleasure.  In fact, the more positive your relationship with food, the better you will feel about your eating habits.

 

But, there is a fine line between a positive food relationship and using food as comfort.

 

The notion of seeking “comfort” from certain foods can lead to problems with your relationship with food.  If you are eating something to gain a sense of comfort, this begins to connect your eating to emotions instead of satiety.

 

There is a difference between eating a food you love because you are enjoying the taste of it or the ceremony for which the food represents, and eating to soothe emotions.

 

If you eat to feed your emotions, then you may be an emotional eater.

 

Let’s take a look at the cycle of emotional eating:

 

Your emotional trigger might be stress or even lonliness, which can lead to overeating and bingeing.  You might be looking for “something” to fill a void that you seem to have in your life.  That food may give you relief in the moment, but shame, guilt and body bashing can quickly follow.

 

This can become a vicious cycle, leaving you with a poor body image, negative self-image and those same emotions you started with.

 

When you eat for comfort, you are likely looking to avoid feeling whatever feelings you are experiencing. Because let’s face it, feeling feelings is hard! You hope that food will solve whatever problem you are having, but you know what? Food will not solve the problem.  Once you stop eating, the root of your problems will still be there. And on top of that, you likely feel bloated, tired and physically uncomfortable.

 

The best way to deal with your emotions is to look at the root of the problem, instead of turning to food.

 

Use food as fuel rather than therapy.

 

This is not to say you can’t eat the foods you previously considered to be “comfort foods”.  Instead, simply redefine their place in your eating plan, and make them a part of your healthy lifestyle, not a part of your mental well-being.

 

Would you like to delve further into your emotional eating? 

 

Join me for Facebook Live in my Private Facebook Community on Thursday October 6th  at 8 pm Eastern where I will coach you through your biggest emotional eating and body image challenges.

 

No Facebook? No Worries!

 

Sign up HERE for a FREE TRAINING on October 13th

 

Topic: A Simple (and Delicious) Way to End Emotional Eating

 

 

PS: Even if you attend our Facebook Live, I recommend you still register for the Free Training.

 

 

Taking Your Kids on Your Intuitive Eating Journey

child-eating-bananaIt is a lot easier to reach your goals when you are working with someone else, right?

 

You can share your intuitive eating journey with someone who looks up to you the most, your child.  Your child can be that someone!

 

As a parent you are a role model for your child. Even if you aren’t aware of it, you can influence your child’s thoughts and behaviors.  So whether you already have kids or are planning to have them in the future, it’s a great idea to model your intuitive eating journey to help instill a healthy relationship with food and feelings of self-worth.

 

You are born an intuitive eater, so chances are your child can help you on your journey as well.

 

Young children…

 

  • Have the ability to listen to their hunger and fullness cues.
  • Will not starve themselves or overeat.
  • Eat slowly, waiting between each bite until they reach for their next forkful.

 

As children age and see family members or the media describe food as “bad”, they may start to move away from eating intuitively.  Their relationship with food and their body may start to change.  If you take them on your intuitive eating journey with you, you may be able to help them continue on as an intuitive eater.

 

Here are 3 ways to help your kids stay intuitive:

 

  1. Banish the “clean your plate before dessert” threat. Like I said before, children are very in tune with their hunger and fullness cues.  If you want them to clean their plate, they will most likely overeat.  If this is a chronic problem with your child, try giving them smaller portions.  If they are still hungry, they will ask for more.

 

  1. Focus on a healthy relationship with food. While on your intuitive eating journey, you learn about the importance of moderation and listening to your body.  If your child sees that you are not afraid to eat certain foods and you stop when you are satisfied rather than stuffed, they will model that behavior.  You will show them there is no such thing as “bad food” or “good food” and they will develop a healthy relationship with food.

 

  1. Show the importance of loving your body. As you’re sitting with your child, talk about what you love about your body, whether it’s physical (“my eyes”), or something your body does for you (“my eyes help me see your beautiful smile”).  By doing this, your child will gain a positive body image and show her own body love.

 

I know showing self-love can be hard to do, especially if you are struggling with it yourself.  So here is an activity you and your child can do together before bedtime:

 

  • Ask your child to tell you what they love about you, or their favorite characteristic about you. Then you tell your child what you love about them, or your favorite characteristic about them.

 

Your intuitive eating journey can become a way to bond with your child.  The two of you can work on your journey together, making it a family affair.

 

So remember, don’t go on this journey alone!  Include your child and teach them about your journey.  You never know, they might teach you a few things too.

 

If you would like more guidance on how to teach mindful eating to your kids, come join my free training Mindful Eating for Families: A Parent Class with Megrette Fletcher, RD.  Sign up for notification on when the next class is available here.

 

 

How to Slow Down the Pace of Eating

timerIn today’s fast paced society it’s only natural that we rush around trying to get everything done before the day is over. You rush to work, school, and everywhere else you have to go. While moving fast may be a necessity for you, eating fast can be detrimental to your health and body.

 

Did you know that eating your meals quickly can actually lead to overeating and weight gain?

 

Think back to your last meal… did you inhale it or take the time to enjoy every bite?  How long do you think it took you to finish your meal? If it’s less than 20 minutes then keep reading.

 

Don’t worry you’re not alone, most people devour their meals in about 5 minutes. They put a forkful of food in their mouths and before they even swallow, the next forkful is ready to go. Do you do this too?

 

When you do this you’re not savoring your meal and you’re not being mindful as you eat. Slowing down as you eat will allow you to really taste every bite and get the most satisfaction out of the meal as possible.

 

Eating quickly also prevents you from eating until you are comfortably satisfied because you don’t pay attention to your inner fullness signals, instead you eat until the food is gone. It takes the brain 20 minutes to realize that your stomach is full. If you eat fast you can completely miss that fullness cue and you can overeat. It can even cause bloating, gas and heartburn.

 

In a Japanese study of over 3,000 people, both male and female, those who ate quickly until they were completely full were three times more likely to be overweight than those who ate slower.

 

Slow down your eating by:

  • Setting an allotted 30 minutes to sit down and have a good meal
  • Putting your fork and knife down between bites
  • Chewing slowly
  • Using your non-dominant hand to hold the fork
  • Eating with someone else
  • Eat without distractions (meaning no T.V. or Phone)

 

Challenge yourself

Set the timer on your phone and see how long it normally takes you to finish a meal. It might be 5 minutes and you might think that stretching it out to 20 is impossible. It’s not! Continue to use the tips above every time you sit to eat to help lengthen your meal minute by minute. Before long, you will be eating slower and using your inner fullness signals to guide you when to stop. And, you’ll enjoy your meal a whole lot better.

 

Comment below and let me know how this goes for you!

 

Can I Fail on My Intuitive Eating Journey?

No failures in IEI was thinking about a conversation I had with a new client a few weeks ago. She was really fed up with dieting and was looking for a solution to help her finally be at peace with food and her body.  We talked about the process of intuitive eating and it resonated with her greatly, but she had one big fear:  would she fail at this process, like she failed at dieting?

 

Her fear of failure was initially holding her back from saying yes to embarking on the intuitive eating process.  So we talked about that fear and one of the things I helped her to understand is that you cannot fail at intuitive eating.

 

You see, dieting is something you go on and you go off. Dieting is what actually triggers overeating.  Dieting is what causes the feelings of failure.

 

With intuitive eating, there is no failure. Intuitive eating is this process where you’re learning to become an intuitive eater, which is an ability you are born with.  That ability is already within you.   Every step along the path, is a lesson learned.  Every experience you have will be another lesson learned.

 

So what you might have thought of as a “failure” or “setback” on your diet, is now going to be thought of as a lesson learned.  Its growth and progress.

 

If you can view the process of intuitive eating from this place, a place of growth, a place of learning new things and new experiences, it will help propel you forward towards reclaiming being an intuitive eater. Here you will realize that you will always learn something from the process and you will never fail.

 

Once my client realized that she is not embarking on another diet, she realized she cannot fail on this journey.  This process is not something that ends.  You learn to live as an intuitive eater, it’s a practice.

 

And so when there is no endpoint, there’s no failure and no fear that’s attached to that.

 

Once she was able to let go of that fear, she was able to say “YES, let’s do this.  Let’s go on this journey together so I can reclaim being an intuitive eater”. She’s on that journey now and really enjoying it.

 

I say the same to you.

 

There are lessons learned in every experience you have on this intuitive eating journey.

 

If you come upon an obstacle or you think you have fallen off the wagon, let’s change that thought process and just think of it as a lesson learned that’s given you growth so you can continue along your journey.

 

As always, if you need me, I am here.

 

 

Is Intuitive Eating just for Women? A True Father’s Day Gift!

Intuitive Eating is Not Just for Women! (1)I recently had a potential client express how he was stuck in the dieting mindset.  He had tried many diets before and has lost the weight and gained it right back.  He has feelings of failure and did not know how to break out of the cycle.  I suggested intuitive eating and how it can help him.  He realized that is exactly what he needs, but hesitated for two reasons:

 

Reason #1: He is so used to wanting and getting results quickly, that to engage in a “food behavior therapy-type” program wasn’t going to get him the instant results.

 

Reason #2: He thought this type of deep work was only for women, and what would people think if he embarked on this journey?

 

Well, after a few more minutes of conversation, he realized that reason #1 was exactly why he was speaking to me in the first place. Yes, all those diets gave him quick results, but those results never lasted. So, what good were they?

 

As for reason #2, I get it. Quite a few men think the path towards intuitive eating is more for women than men.

 

But listen up men! Intuitive eating is not just for women.  Men and women were both born intuitive eaters and the process to reclaim this is unisex and can benefit everyone.

 

The work I do with my clients in my 5 Step Intuitive Eating Program is a step-by-step process to help you transform your relationship with food, where you end the battle with food and your body and achieve great pleasure in eating once again.

 

If you are a man reading this blog, I’m sure you have your reasons as to why you assume this process is just for women.  Men don’t like to talk about their emotions, right?  May I ask you why?  Is it because of what society thinks? Is it just because men don’t “do emotions”?

 

Men – It is OK to talk about your emotions!  You are not alone.  Intuitive eating will show you and teach you how to cope with your emotions without food!

 

With intuitive eating, you’ll be able to enjoy eating your favorite foods without experiencing the guilt afterwards.  You’ll learn to accept your body, and with acceptance comes appreciation of your body.  From there, your mindset will change and you’ll be able to build a better relationship with food.  Your body will thank you.

 

What better time to take charge of your health and break free of the dieting mindset than around Father’s Day? 

 

Here are two steps you can take today to start the journey to become an intuitive eater:

 

  1. Commit to saying goodbye to the quick – fixes. Truly recognize this isn’t your long-term solution.

 

  1. Take advantage of my Father’s Day Gift to you – a Break Free of Dieting Strategy Session. During this session we will uncover the challenges that’s been holding you back from losing weight forever, and we will map out your intuitive eating path. Just click here to schedule your free session.

 

Happy Father’s Day!

 

 

3 Reasons Why I Will Never Diet Again, and Neither Should You

3 Reasons whyI will never diet again. I say this with confidence. I know that diets don’t work. I also know that in my younger years, whenever I was on a diet, I was miserable. Oh, yes, I always lost weight on the diet, but then I gained that weight back.

 

If you are reading this blog, I bet you can relate. You are a dieter, a chronic dieter. Perhaps you are reading this after breaking your current diet and you are desperate to find another way. Or, you are reading this and you are at your goal weight, having lost the excess pounds by starving yourself, drinking shakes or eating “clean” but tasteless food.

 

Here are 3 reasons WHY I will never diet again and neither should you:

 

1. Diets cause you to think about food ALL. THE. TIME. What did I eat yesterday, what did I eat before, what am I eating now, what will I eat later, what will I eat tomorrow. Whew, that’s exhausting. Food should not be the center of your day, food should not encompass your entire brain. There is so much more to life that you can be doing than thinking about food all the time.

 

2. Diets cause you to feel guilty when you eat something you think you should not eat. The diet lists foods for you to choose and those to avoid. But what if you happen to want to eat a food that’s on the “avoid” list? Well, what usually happens when you are told you cannot have something? Yep, you want it more (everyone always gets this question right!) You can deny your desire for only so long. So you indulge and the guilty feelings and harsh self-talk start. Isn’t it time to put that to bed?

 

3. Diets cause you to lose trust in your own food decisions. Well, last I checked, I am the owner of my body, of my inner signals and my thoughts. I can certainly make decisions about what I want to eat. Don’t you think you should too?

 

These are only 3 reasons I will never diet again, and why you shouldn’t either. There are plenty more that perhaps I’ll discuss in another blog.

 

In the meantime, I would like to hear from you. Do you resonate with any of the side effects of dieting I discussed above? How will you break this vicious cycle? Let me know in the comments below.

 

And, come and join the discussion in my free private Facebook group where you’ll join women and men who are giving up dieting too. Click here to request free access.

 

 

 

How to Be an Intuitive Eater When You Are Sick

tea 3Learning how to be an intuitive eater after years and years of chronic dieting is certainly a journey with twists and turns. But it’s those twists and turns that lead to movement forward on your path towards food freedom.

 

Some of these twists and turns we can expect and plan for, such as an upcoming wedding, party or night out on the town. We think ahead, set intentions for the evening and stay aware during our night out.

 

But there are some twists and turns that we do not plan for. One such is getting sick. Now, there’s all kinds of sick. There’s the flu that keeps you in bed, the stomach virus that keeps you in the bathroom, and there’s migraine headaches which keeps you under the covers. And, then there’s laryngitis.

 

I am writing this blog as I sit at my desk with no voice. I open my mouth to speak and nothing comes out. Zero, zilch, nada! This happened last night after I finished a 90 minute webinar training on my 5 Step System to Break Free of Dieting (if you didn’t catch the webinar, you can listen to the replay here!)

 

I could tell my voice was starting to go earlier in the day, it felt a bit scratchy. I drank hot tea and sucked on throat lozenges all in hopes of preserving my voice so I can host the training that hundreds of people signed up for.

 

And, my voice held out! Until right after the webinar. It was so strange. Within a half hour of the training ending, I lost my voice. The universe really wanted me to share my 5 Step System with as many people as possible, as it is really a life changing process towards eating without guilt and achieving a body you love without dieting.

 

I was grateful. I took a cup of tea and headed to bed.

 

Then, this morning, when I awoke, I noticed something. I wasn’t experiencing my hunger signals for breakfast like I usually do. And, throughout the day, I noticed that I was having a hard time identifying hunger. I knew, however, that illness blunts or dulls the hunger signals and in these types of situations, it is important to eat and nourish my body with wholesome foods to aid in my healing.

 

So this is what I did. I chose soft foods that wouldn’t irritate my throat, and I took the time to sit at my table and eat in a mindful fashion. I found that I became satiated a bit earlier than usual, and I stopped eating at this point.

 

It takes a bit more effort to tune into your inner signals when you are not feeling well. But your body deserves to be nourished, especially when it needs to heal. And, food is thy best medicine.

 

Your turn to take action: If you missed my free webinar, request access to the replay here.

 

 

 

 

5 Steps to STOP Dieting Once and For All

5 steps webinar graphic 1You know how to eat healthfully. You have heard it time and time again.

 

Eat whole foods, lean proteins, whole grains, plenty of fruits and veggies (the colors of the rainbow) and healthy fats. And, yes, avoid highly processed foods!

 

You don’t need a “Food Revolution” to tell you this! You know this already.

 

You actually have eaten like this. Then stopped eating like this. Then started eating like this again, then stopped again! Yikes, I’m getting dizzy!

 

Why do you NOT do what you know is good for you?

 

Well, there might be several reasons. For starters, it’s easy to fall back into old habits. Change is hard, there’s no doubt about that. And change takes time, patience and perseverance. You can do it as long as life cooperates. But once life throws you a curve ball, you haven’t learned how to juggle that curve ball while maintaining your newfound healthy habits. So, you fall back into old familiar habits that feel safe, even if they aren’t healthy for you.

 

Now, don’t feel bad about this. It happens to the best of us. What you should feel bad about is if you don’t keep trying. If you just throw in the towel and say and do one of the two following statements:

  • “It doesn’t matter, I’m destined to be fat, and so I might as well just forget trying. I’m going to enjoy my food and I’ll show them (by the way, who is “them”)?”

 

  • “I’m going to try the Atkins diet again, or Weight Watchers for the umpteenth time”.

 

Now, let’s discuss each of the above statements.

 

In statement number one, you are engaging in pessimistic thinking (the cup is half empty). This type of self-talk is negative messaging that only leads to more unhappiness and self-destructive thoughts and behaviors.

 

In statement number two, you know full well that diets don’t work. I don’t care what diet it is. Diets just don’t work as a ‘forever’.

 

Again, you know this. So, why do you fall for the fad diet’s false advertising time and time again?

 

I am going to explain why in full detail AND I am going to give away my 5 Step System to Break Free of Dieting so you can get the body and life you love on my upcoming Free Online Webinar.

 

Here are the deets:

 5 steps webinar graphic 1

Monday May 16, 2016 at 8 pm EST/5 pm PST.

 

Join HERE.

 

This is a Pitch-Free Webinar. I am not selling any home study or group program.

 

In honor of my birthday month (May), I am giving back to you by teaching you my system at no cost to you.

 

There is no reason not to show up live.

 

Register here. I can’t wait to speak to you!