Tuesday, April 7, 2009

3. Lose Weight By Easily Controlling How Much You Eat

Here's an easy way to lose weight while strengthening your digestive system!

Did you know you can improve how well you digest your food by controlling how much you eat? Many people believe that people gain weight because they eat too much. Actually, if a person has a strong digestive system they can eat as much as they want and still lose weight.

The general rule in Ayurveda is that you should eat until you are about 80% full.

I have tried that and I need to be about 90% full or I get hungry soon after the meal. If I eat until I am 100% full, it tends to be too much and my digestive system slows down. Do some experiments to find your ideal level of eating. Overeating will definitely slow down your digestive system and wreak havoc in your body.

If you tend to overeat there are some really simple things you can do to keep your eating habit at your optimum level and you will enjoy eating less. Ayurveda doesn't believe in guilt. The goal of Ayurveda is to make life more enjoyable.

The reason people tend to eat too much is because the food tastes good. Eating makes them happy. So, if we look at overeating as a search for happiness and satisfaction, rather than a greed for food there can be a solution.

According to Ayurveda you should:
  • Eat in a quiet, settled environment.
  • You should sit down to eat.
  • It's good to have pleasant company and eat with someone you enjoy.
  • When you eat, look at your food. Eat food that looks good to you.
  • Touch your food with your fingers, if appropriate. There is intelligence in your touch senses that helps the body appreciate the "experience" of the food.
  • Chew your food properly (the guideline is you should chew each mouthful 32 times).
  • Take time to taste the food...don't just gobble it down so you can get back to work!
  • Don't eat too quickly or too slowly.
  • Finish one mouthful completely and wait until it gets to your stomach before you take the next mouthful.
  • Focus on eating while eating. Don't watch TV, read a book or be involved in a "meeting" where you have to be doing some serious thinking.
  • Eat food that tastes good. Feel it in your mouth. Enjoy the moment. Have your attention on it as it goes down to your stomach. Smile, because you are enjoying the food.
  • Try not to talk while eating. Even if you are with someone, try not to talk too much. You should finish eating in 5 to 10 minutes anyway. You can talk before and after the meal.
  • After the meal, sit quietly for 5 to 10 minutes. Light, pleasant conversation is o.k. at this time.

Did you notice how many things in that list are directed toward emotional satisfaction and happiness?

Eating food is about being happy, according to Ayurved. If you are worried about what you are eating, it takes away from being happy during the meal. Just before the meal, during the meal and for a good hour after the meal, don't worry about whether or not the food was right for you. Do your planning in advance and when it is time to eat, just enjoy!

Whatever you do, never criticize the food you are eating. Saying a prayer before the meal and being thankful is very good for digestion, Ayurevedically speaking.

Avoid eating in a negative or "excited" atmosphere...it takes away from being able to appreciate your food.

Always eat food that tastes good. Don't force yourself to eat something just because someone told you it's good for you. If it is really good for you, maybe you can combine it with something or cook it so it becomes tasty for you.

Your body will tell you what's good for you. Learn to listen to your body and follow your own advice.

If you follow the guidelines above you will find that you won't want to overeat. You will be "satisfied" and happy to eat just under a full stomach.

In the next article I'll talk more about how to control how much you eat by combining foods. This is a key principle in Ayurveda.

If you haven't signed up for the lose-weight-tutorial, do it now. The ideas in that series will get you on the right track quickly. What you read here should be treated as a supplement to the fundamental program presented in the tutorial.

I'd like to hear if you tried this approach and the results you got. Please come back and post your comments after you have tried some of these things. Your comments will show up on the blog and it will inspire others to live a happy, healthy life also.

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If you try out the suggestions in this article let everyone know what happened by writing your comments here. It will inspire others to lose weight and live a healthier, happier life.