Tried every diet going but the pounds still stay stuck? Nutritionist Deborah Kesten, author of Feeding the Body, Nourishing the Soul (Conari Press) says that getting a slim healthy body relies not so much on what you eat, but how you eat it and why you eat it.
She reckons we need to look beyond our calorific intake and start to investigate our attitude to food. ‘If you become aware of the psychological and emotional dynamics linked to eating, the tendency to overeat can be curtailed,’ says Kesten.
Her theory is backed up by research: scientists have found that how food is prepared can actually affect its nutritional content. "Is it possible that food may receive, store and ‘give back’ to us the energy and consciousness that we give to our food?" asks Kesten. The answer seems to be yes. Physicist Fred Alan Wolf PhD says we shouldn’t just be asking, ‘What nutrients are in the food?’ but rather, ‘What were you thinking about when you were eating?’ By combining intention, visualization and healing energy, food could be transformed – metabolized in the optimum way, making you fit, healthy and happy.
Five Ways to Change Your Relationship to Food
Practice ‘soul shopping’. Spiritual food is fresh, seasonal and ideally organic. Grow your own, order an organic box or shop at farmers’ markets or stores who know their producers. Think about where your food has come from – imagine its original surroundings. Choose your produce with care – pick up each vegetable, feel it, smell it. Find out where your meat grew up.
- Prepare and cook your food with awareness. Follow the yogic chefs and treat cooking as a form of meditation and blessing. Also consider it as spiritual alchemy – you are turning basic foodstuffs into, not just fuel, but sustenance for your body, mind and spirit. Imagine you’re putting healing energy into every meal you cook.
- Eat mindfully. Explore your food – smell it and observe it before you put it in your mouth. Be aware of its texture and sound, as well as its taste. Chew thoroughly and carefully – digestion starts in the mouth. Put your cutlery down between each mouthful.
- Keep a journal. Whenever you’re overcome with the urge to eat – stop, identify and write down what it is you were thinking, feeling or doing. When does your need to eat intensify? Ask what feelings are percolating beneath the surface at that time. Anxiety? Loneliness? Depression? Panic? Sadness?
Love yourself. Appreciate and ‘be’ with yourself. Speak to yourself with care and concern rather than judgement and anger. Take a walk instead of chomping on a biscuit. Stop eating when your body has told you it’s had enough – listen! De-stress by meditating instead of munching on that slab of cheesecake. In short, find pleasure in being with yourself, rather than turning to food to avoid it.
Holistic Therapies for Weight Loss
If you need some extra help, try these support systems.
ACUPUNCTURE: Acupuncturists see weight gain as a sign that the body’s energy (qi) is out of balance. They will aim to balance your qi by pinpointing (sorry!) the exact points along the meridians (energy pathways of the body) which need stimulating. Once the body returns to balance, the pounds should automatically start to drop off.
HYPNOTHERAPY: Hypnotherapy puts you into a deeply relaxed light trance state in which your subconscious mind is put to work on your weight issues. The process will vary according to your problem from simply instilling positive changes into your mind, to working deep on the psychological issues behind your weight gain.
HOMEOPATHY: Excess weight is seen as just another symptom of imbalance as far as homeopaths are concerned. They will look for a remedy which matches you as an entire person – not just the way you put on weight, but also your likes and dislikes, sleeping patterns, dreams and other symptoms. With an exact match, your body will naturally seek to balance itself and weight should slowly and surely regulate.
EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUE: Addresses weight gain that has a strong emotional basis (so that’s most weight gain then!). You tap around your body while repeating statements about your weight and why you eat. Surprisingly effective even though no-one knows exactly how or why it works.
AROMATHERAPY: Our Slim Solution blend is designed to support healthy weight loss and body image. Grapefruit and cedarwood help break down stuck energy, and their gentle detoxifying and diuretic action encourages the body to release excess fluids. Meanwhile, the strength of cedarwood fortifies your will and roots your self-confidence.
Balance is a reassuring, grounding blend that helps boost your sense of self – it helps you realize who you really are. Meanwhile Motivation can keep you focused on your goals.