Mindfulness is Key to Weight Loss and Managing Obesity
Two Perth Psychologists are Helping people Lose Weight and Fight Obesity using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)and Mindfulness.
"Mindfulness encourages us to pay attention in the here and now, on purpose, and without judgement. It encourages us to observe rather than hook inot our mind’s stories."
Clinical Psychologist Dr Erica Usher said that people with weight issues often had emotional struggles that no amount of fad dieting or ab crunching could fix.
“How many times have we reached for a chocolate bar or a tub of ice-cream because we’ve felt sad or lonely? People need an alternative way of managing emotions that doesn’t have anything to do with eating or sweating,” said Dr Usher.
“Unfortunately food is inextricably linked to emotion from a very young age. We give our children food as rewards all the time. Or threaten to take it away as punishment,“ she adds.
“Learning alternative ways of dealing with emotions is critical to long term weight management and making healthy lifestyle choices. Mindfulness encourages us to pay attention in the here and now on purpose without judgement. It encourages us to observe rather than hook into our mind’s stories,” she concludes.
Dr Usher said the way to break the cycle was to eat mindfully by doing the following
Taste your food: Often we don’t even taste what we eat, so if you’re going to eat it, make sure you enjoy the experience.
Eat slowly: The quicker you eat, the less you will taste your food and the greater likelihood of missing fullness cues.
Sit at the dinner table: Research tells us we are more likely to eat mindfully when we sit in the same place and eat together as a family. Even if you live alone, make a point of making meal time special. Set the table, use nice cutlery etc.
Turn the TV off: Distraction causes mindless eating! Be aware of what’s on your plate and on your fork.
Recognise signs of fullness: Develop a better relationship with your body and listen to what it tells you.
Eat foods you enjoy: Eating is a pleasurable activity, so don’t waste time eating diet food that doesn’t even taste good. You are more likely to resent it and reach for something more satisfying if you feel like you’re missing out
Fellow Clinical Psychologist Leanne Young said by developing a healthy relationship with yourself, and practising a more mindful approach to eating, people can reduce their weight and feel better about themselves. “The good news is you can still enjoy a range of food options, and develop healthier lifestyle habits that are easy to maintain".
Dr Usher and Ms Young have created a program which uses the principles of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), with a special emphasis on Mindfulness to help empower people improve their relationship with food and ultimately themselves.
ACT and particularly the application of Mindfulness practises are now being used extensively in the treatment of lifestyle related health problems, including weight management, depression and anxiety.
To read more about the use of ACT and Mindfulness in weight management, and for more tips, recipes, articles of interest, and dates for their weight management group, Manage Your Baggage! Visit www.turningpointtherapy.com.au.
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- Contact Information
- Leanne Young
- Clinical Psychologist
- Turning Point Therapy
- (61) 418921173
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