So, some more stuff and the $64,000 Question — Can Mindfulness help me lose weight?
Well not on it’s own anyway, because loosing weight is more a matter of simple physics than anything else — Calories consumed must be less than calories burned — So it’s actually about the Maths and the control to allow it to work.
A Zen proverb goes, “When walking walk. When eating eat”
This sounds both simple and eminently sensible doesn’t it and maybe it really is, if you concentrate when you eat and give the food in front of you your full Attention.
Game Changing Discoveries
Over the past 20 years or so, there have been game-changing discoveries about the make-up of the Brain and how it really works.
With the latest technology we can now look into our heads in the minutest detail and we now know that Mindfulness works.
The Brain in not immutable, unchanging after a certain point in childhood.
It is in fact neuro-plastic and regular Mindfulness practice has been shown to affect and change existing neural pathways, create new neural connections among the Quadrillion connections you already have— That’s a 1 followed by 15 naughts, or 1,000,000,000,000,000 if you’d feel happier seeing it written in full— and strengthen those areas of the Brain where creativity, compassion and happiness have set-up home.
And I talk all about this in much more detail in Chapter 3 of my Book, ‘Uncovering Mindfulness:In Search Of A Life More Meaningful’.
A Compelling Case
But what all this New Science also tells us about taking a Mindfulness approach to how we eat and how we live, makes an equally compelling case.
Simply slowing down when eating your food and savoring each forkful as it enters the mouth, will help you to feel more satisfied, fuller, sated!
The Science Bit
If we eat in a Mindful Way the hypothalamus has a chance to release the neurons to produce the pro-upiomelanocortin (POMC) peptides that signal fullness and can stop us overeating.
For many though this can be quite a challenge.
How often do we eat on auto-pilot, &/or at the thrall of a screen, or mobile device, a book maybe, or a magazine or newspaper? And this doesn’t just happen at home, does it?
Picture the scene. You’re out to eat and how many of your fellow diners, and indeed yourself, are engaged in the restaurant experience?
It doesn’t matter whether it’s Macdonald’s on the one hand, or a white linen and silver ware joint on the other, where you might be paying a fair wedge for your slice of pie.
I’ve seen it. You’ve seen it. Is it so hateful to look up from that screen and take part in the present moment experience? To be mentally as well as physically present?
Commensality, Food & Other Stuff
No, but many of us have almost forgotten our manners and how we should be.
Worse still we’re passing this lack of observance and consciousness on to our children, whether we mean to or not!
Commensality, food and the act of eating are bound together with the connections we have with family, society and identity. We are at heart social animals who do better emotionally and intellectually in groups.
A Shared Meal provides connectivity and a meeting point for reaffirming existing bonds and familial ties, together with the opportunity to foster new social relations and experiences with like-minded individuals.
Don’t Waste The Opportunity
We can’t do that if we are not wholly present and if technology or some other medium is allowed to intercede. In this respect these can consume our Attention and paradoxically fragment this inter-connectedness.
Don’t waste these opportunities, because wouldn’t you really rather know what is happening, when it is happening? Wouldn’t you like to be fully Present in your own life?
To simply Be & to Be in the moment?
And who knows your weight could be a net beneficiary too!
I am all about making the complex less complex, the tough stuff not so tough and putting the unreachable within reach of everyone. I am author of ‘Uncovering Mindfulness: In Search Of A Life More Meaningful’ (All new updated 2nd Edition coming Autumn 2018) available on Amazon and www.bookboon.com; the ‘Coffee & A Cup of Mindfulness’ and the ‘Mindful Hacks For Mindful Living & Mindful Working’ series. I am also a Contributing Author to The Huffington Post and a Contributing Writer to Thrive Global. You can follow the continuing journey Uncovering Mindfulness on Twitter @TheMindfulBook and at @Paul_Mudd