Mindful awareness techniques can be used to reshape eating habits and quell cravings.
Here’s a New Year’s resolution you can keep: Stop dieting and start savoring your food instead.
That may seem like surprising advice, but there’s mounting scientific evidence to suggest that diets don’t work. Research shows that food restriction just makes you want to eat more. And over the long term, dieting can backfire, triggering your body’s survival defenses, slowing your metabolism, and making it even harder to lose weight in the future.
A resolution to quit dieting doesn’t mean giving up on having a healthier body. Bt to successfully conquer a dieting habit, you’ll need to let go of old ideas about counting calories, banning your favorite foods, and measuring success by a number on a scale.
What’s the alternative? Many weight researchers are encouraging a new approach to healthy eating based on brain science. A variety of techniques that encourage mindful awareness of how we eat, acceptance related to the foods we want to eat, and intuitive eating exercises can be used to quell cravings and reshape your eating habits.
“The paradigms around willpower don’t work,” said Dr. Judson Brewer, an associate professor in behavioral and social sciences at the Brown University School of Public Health who has studied mindful eating practices. “You have to start by knowing how your mind works.”
The Case Against Restrictive Diets
Kicking dieting habits this time of year is especially hard because of the allure of gimmicky weight-loss plans. Many diet programs and dieting apps try to attract users with the promise that they’re not promoting a traditional diet, only to impose restrictive eating practices once you sign up.
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