Lately I’ve been trying to learn more about emotional eating and have been reading a lot about Mindful Eating (google it!) – my friends at Athletics By Nature (aka Strength Box) did a blog post about this recently that you should check out. In my quest to learn more, I recently picked up the book “Women, Food and God” which is all about mindful eating and how to practise it. I was really hesitant to buy this book because 1) it was endorsed by Oprah and 2) I most definitely judge a book by its title. Alas, I decided to buy it and started reading with low expectations. It’s actually a really good book! I HIGHLY recommend it if you’ve ever struggled with over-eating or emotional eating (who hasn’t?). It’s also a really easy read and short. Don’t get turned off by the title…the book has nothing to do with religion and is not specific to women. In a very simplistic explanation, the point of the book (and mindful eating) is to learn how to have total awareness and be in the moment with your food in order to get in touch with what hunger vs being full feels like. Stop and mentally assess how hungry you are while you’re eating. If you’re still eating when you’re full or you’re beginning to eat when you’re not truly hungry, then you need to stop and ask yourself why. Usually there is an emotional reason behind over-eating and eating when you’re not hungry and this process forces you to stop, assess why you’re doing it and address the emotional issues head-on. It makes total sense.
Having read this book, I now realize that following a Paleo/Primal diet is only 3/4 of the nutrition battle…. it’s like Guns n Roses without Slash. Sure, Axl can still pull off most of the songs on his own, but without Slash it is not the same and you end up waiting 10 years for a new album by the name of Chinese Democracy. I digress….
Anyways, you can still overeat or suffer from emotional benders on a Paleo/Primal diet. It is possible to satisfy your emotions via trail mix (i have done this!). Having a super clean Primal/Paleo diet is paramount, but if you can integrate mindful eating, then you’ve found the November Rain of eating.
On the contrary, you cannot successfully lose weight from Mindful Eating alone…Yesterday I got roped into another Oprah episode (it’s on at 7pm on time-delay, ok?) because she had on Geneen Roth who wrote the book, ‘Women, Food and God’. I saw these poor women standing up and admitting that they just couldn’t stop thinking about cake (seriously, one woman just couldn’t stop thinking about cake). You can see these poor ladies (and Oprah), hanging onto to every word that Geneen is saying and no doubt they’re going to go home and practice her new techniques. I feel like this solution is a ½ baked pie (no pun intended). Without the quality food, you’re absolutely going to be craving more food or make bad choices – There is no way in hell that woman is going to slowly eat cake and expect to lose weight….honestly!?! In my opinion you can practice mindful eating until the cow’s come home, but if you’re not eating clean you will not succeed and you will feel hungry all the time. You need to have both quality food and mindful eating. Look what happened to Axl when Slash was no longer in the picture? He ended up fat, with horrible hair plugs and no eyebrows!
The point is that Paleo/Primal alone is fantastic, but if you can integrate Mindful Eating then you work on healing any emotional ties that you have to food which will result in greater success with your diet and happiness.
From now one, I’m going to make sure my nutrition practices are more like a classic GnR track that includes a Slash interlude…. Preferably one where he is shirtless, in leather pants and has a smoke hanging off his lip.