Last day I was watching a movie #SizeZero which was celebrating fit and fine curvaceous body as opposed to skeletal structure of a size zero model. Fat is fit was the mantra. It is true; there is no point in damaging your health for becoming slim. However, if your weight and curves get overdone, that can lead to obesity, which can be the cause of serious problems like diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, cholesterol disorder etc.
What we eat is not the cause of our fat belly, the way we eat is important.
Taking a thoughtful diet full of all the required nutrients will always keep you in the best of your health.
Taking periodic meals is a useful mechanism to keep your weight in control and reduce over intake of calories.
Recent research has found out, that only giving a thought to the diet plan may not work. A more effective mechanism has been discovered which they call ‘dispositional mindfulness’
Dispositional mindfulness is different from our general knowledge about mindfulness practice, which is a kind of meditation to concentrate on present and physical sensations.
It is more of a regular awareness of the present occurring, activities, physical sensations and emotional thoughts. This is kind of an inherent nature in a person, which never looks into the past or future but sub consciously focuses on the present. However, this can be preached and practised as well.
If we apply the dispositional mindfulness to selecting our food items, possibly we can reduce a huge amount of bad calorie and unhealthy carb from our diet.
Let’s look at how dispositional mindfulness is linked to lower fat in the body.
Eric Loucks’ study, published in the International Journal of Behavioural Medicine, looked at how 394 people in the New England Family Study (NEFS) scored on the six-point Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS).
The researchers also measured the amount of belly and hip fat each person had using the dual energy X-ray absorptiometry scanner at Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket. They also gathered measurements of body mass index and other data on each participant’s health, lifestyle, and demographics.
The results showed that people with a score less than 4 on the MAAS scale were 34% more prone towards obesity and developing extra belly fat, than those who scored 6 and above. Both of these results were statistically significant.
In short, a person who is generally mindful as opposed to those practising it within a period of meditation, tend to be more thoughtful about their present actions, and will dissuade from impulsive snacking.
How to practise it?
Start with small steps- Try being mindful for a day’s snack. Choose wisely on what you want to eat. Slowly you can extend it to breakfast, lunch and dinner diet.
Focus on fruits and vegetables with colour red, orange and yellow-when you choose colourful objects in your diet, your senses will focus on it, and you will be more aware and conscious towards the experience of eating. Moreover, red fruits and vegetables are rich in anthocyanins, the largest source of antioxidants, while orange is more of carotenoid compounds that is good for eyes and brain. β-cryptoxanthin is a part of yellow fruits and veggies which are anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antihistamine hence will help you to fight serious diseases. In short, these useful nutrient compounds will cut down your belly fat and add to your health.
Focus on the calorie intake- while assessing your health, pay attention to the amount of calorie intake each day. Find out which food item contain how much calorie, and consume accordingly. In this way you can shift your focus from long term worries to your food, and that will positively add to your good health.
Think about why you are eating- when you go up to take some food, think or ask your body why you are eating? Are you eating because you are hungry? Or because you are bored or tired? Or because there is something tasty in the kitchen? This will interrupt your craving for the moment and once you answer the question, you can be mindful towards stopping the action.
Enjoy the experience of eating- smell the aroma before eating, choose your favourite colour and relish every bite. This will help in better digestion, as saliva will be generated easily, hence belly fat can be regulated.
Pay attention to your physical sensations after eating- after a particular diet, you can focus on the physical alarms. Are you feeling light, heavy, happy, or stressed? If you feel heavy and difficult to move after intake of food, it means you have taken the wrong diet or in wrong quantity. Avoid your mistake from the next time.
Do one thing at a time- do not eat while reading, watching TV or doing other activities. Eat when you are eating. Mindful eating will help you regulate the amount of food intake and will also enrich the experience of eating.