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Hungry eye

Who ate the red frogs?The bag was there but a second ago and now they’re all gone. Disappeared, without a trace. I’m sure it wasn’t me.It couldn’t have been.I only wanted one.Must have been the kids.

It certainly is a common experience in the west, with our over supply of food and our brains response to sugar and fat, making us sit up and beg and where the choice for a taste can turn into an empty packet and a sense of shame, without even noticing it’s happening.

And it’s the without noticing where we have some wiggle room to move.

So much of our eating is done mindlessly, whilst watching TV or talking or working, virtually prohibiting any chance to even noticing more than the first mouthful of our food.Our minds are always on constant chatter, taking us away from our present experience.

We know that mindfulness make a difference with our psychological health, and now we understand that being mindful can make a difference with our choices around our physical health.Studies in 2015 found some evidence for this in that people who were more mindful were also more likely to have lower risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease.More evidence of how the mind and the body are a hair’s breadth from each other.

What the evidence is now also showing is that part of the reason for that may be that mindfulness can make unhealthy food seem less appealing.One particular study showed that hungry people were drawn to the unhealthy food when there was a choice.Half of the participants were trained in a 12-minute mindfulness exercise where they learnt how to bring their attention mindfully to their experience – noticing that the craving was transient and just an experience that would come and go – and then the attraction to unhealthy food went.When set free in a cafeteria, those people made choices for food that was healthier for them than non-mindful participants.

How would it be for you to become more mindful or what goes on for you when you crave that unhealthy food you would prefer not to eat?If you noticed the craving was just a collection of feelings and thoughts that come and go without needing you to satisfy the craving; the key, it would seem, may be mindfulness.

Tarnya Davis is a clinicaland forensic psychologist and principal of NewPsych Psychologists. Her book, All Things Considered, is sold at theherald老域名出售备案老域名

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