As we get into the “over-eating” season, ponder this article from the latest Body & Soul Magazine from the Martha Stewart Company (who herself is an avid yoga practioner).
The Yoga Diet.
Taking up yoga could help reshape your eating habits, which may help you lose weight. In a Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center study (see my side bar for the entire article on the research), of 303 adults who were physically active, researchers found a link between doing yoga and eating mindfully: yoga practicing participants reported focusing only on their food while eating, for instance, or ceasing to eat once they felt satisfied. No such link was found among those who did other forms of exercise.
“Since yoga heightens your awareness of your body in general, it makes sense that it would hlep you to pay more attention to your eating patterns and appetite”, says J. Adam Rindtleisch, M.D., of the University of Wisconsin Integrative Medicine Clinic. Many other mind-body methods–including meditation and tai chi–can also deepen your body awareness and motivate you to eat more consciously he adds. Those practices can also reduce stress, which could help you savor your food rather than frantically speed through each meal.
For a head start on becoming a calmer, more mindful eater, take a moment before your meal to breathe deeply and offer gratitude for your food. As you eat, tune into the sensations you experience with every bite. “When you’re aware of how each morsel of food affects you.” says Rindfleisch, “you’re more likely to feel full not only physically, but also mentally.” – E. B.