The power of presence

Again and again, fad diets have been proved unsuccessful. Diets focus on calorie restriction and the elimination of certain foods and generally do not take into account the dieter’s ability to exercise self-control or regulate their eating behaviour. Many popular weightloss programs offer coaching and support networks; however, once the goal weight has been achieved and the program concludes, the individual must continue unsupported.

Cultivating self-compassion and applying mindfulness to your eating habits can provide a much greater chance of maintaining a healthy weight.

Mindfulness involves increasing awareness of the current moment and observing without judgment. When applied to eating, it involves paying attention to what you eat and how you eat it. In essence, this means being aware of both your inner cues and outer environment and how they influence food choices and consumption.

Media, technology and our fast-paced lifestyles all have an impact on the way we approach food. Distractions such as watching television or checking emails can result in automatic, mindless eating. Media and advertising can influence our food choices and, often, decisions are based on convenience.

Emotions also play a large role in influencing our eating habits. According to Susan Albers, PsyD, author of , “The majority of food decisions people make have nothing to do with hunger. They

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