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How We Eat Today_Final

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>> Hi, welcome back as we continue to explore emotional eating. Today, we're highlighting some big picture connections between eating habits and other habits. We'll use three lenses to explore how cultural norms can affect relationships with food. In short, we're focusing on the typical hows of eating and how they might lead us away from health. One common how of eating is dieting. Many, many people tried dieting in an attempt to lose weight and get healthier from reasons ranging from medical to aesthetic. As you probably know, diets don't work. Most people who try to lose weight either never achieve their goals or end up regaining the weight they lost. In fact, dieting can actually predict future weight gain. Studies show that one to two-thirds of dieters regain more weight than they lost on diets. Why? Well, there are a host of reasons for this as well as a great deal of research continuing to explore it. For example, we're learning that when it comes to long-term physical effects, including weight loss, exercise, while important, is not a very reliable way to reduce body fat. It's much more nuanced than calories in, calories out. It's more about diet composition. Contributing factors include things like the microbiome. For example, blood sugar response and chemical exposures. And bio-individuality is key. What works for some people, both physically and mentally, might not work for others. Not to mention the fact that dieting leaves people feeling deprived which can lead to overeating, guilt, and shame, and a stuck sense of hopelessness. In short, it's complicated. In order to help your clients reach their goals, it's important to look at the bigger picture. We'll cover more specific strategies in part two of this course, but this is a valuable place to start. Have you ever heard the phrase, "How you do one thing is how you do everything"? I don't know about you but hearing that for the first time was definitely one of those aha moments of my life. Let me start with a story. I once had a client, let's call her Vanessa, who suffered from chronic indigestion, headaches, and fatigue. Vanessa worked very chaotic hours at her hospital job, her schedule changed every two weeks and her hours included overnight shifts. She didn't have time for anyone, her friends, her family, or even herself. Vanessa also struggled with finances. As she put it, "I shop when I'm stressed, and I'm stressed a lot. I also unwind with several glasses of wine after a long shift." As with the shopping and alcohol, Vanessa often used food to help her cope with stress. Between the stress and her schedule, food took a backseat during the day, so she indulged in her happy foods at night. However, she slowly gained weight, and she didn't know what to do about it. Vanessa's story is a very common one these days, especially in the American culture. Remember, how cultural norms can drive emotional eating, and remember how stress can fuel emotional eating. Well, keeping all of that in mind, how do you think a culture that seems to run on a chronic state of stress might affect eating habits? How you do one thing is how you do everything. Vanessa worked chaotic and long hours that barely left her time to eat. She was often stressed out and she used food, wine, and shopping to help her. Looking at Vanessa's life, can you see how her eating habits might mirror other habits? For example, what might her sleep habits look like? Here's some more food for thought. You shop like you eat. How does that resonate with you? Grab your journal and take a few minutes to think about your approach to shopping. Okay, now that you have that, pause again and think about your approach to eating. Now look at your two columns. Do you see any similarities? Maybe so, maybe not. Either way, it's an interesting concept to think about, right? We, here at IIN, call this fitting into the matrix. The matrix refers to all-encompassing accepted beliefs and concepts that drain our energy. As Joshua puts it, it's a kind of mental, emotional, and spiritual programming. It's the constant treadmill of fight or flight, chronic low or high stress, it's the shoulds, and it's the cultural pressure to conform, which often leads to unhealthy habits like emotional eating in our attempts to cope with trying to keep up. It's women trying to be superwomen and do it all, and it's men trying to be supermen and stay strong, it's about perfection and ideals, including the healthy ideal, and it leaves us trapped. Many cultures recognize the importance of slowing down. In the Ayurvedic tradition, Rajas is active energy, while Tamas refers to inertia or stagnancy, and dullness. Many people tend toward a Rajas succeed of mind, which requires constant stimulation or a Tamas succeed of mind, overstimulated, exhausted, and depleted. Can you see how these mindsets translate to a chronic state of stress via a sympathetic nervous system that's constantly on? Food can also be Rajasic or Tamasic. For instance, heavier and sometimes spicier foods are more Rajasic, while Tamasic foods include processed foods that aren't as fresh. When it comes to food, and relationships, and jobs, and basically everything we do, it's not only about the what, it's also the how. To use a metaphor here, we are what and how we eat. In other words, the food on our plates is only a small part of the equation. Ideally, food is secondary to things like relationships, career, and physical vitality, which also nourish us. And as you know, they're all related, what we eat can affect our physical vitality, who we're with can affect what we eat, and so forth. Food impacts all areas of life. However, as Joshua says, people who eat healthy aren't necessarily healthy. When food becomes the center of life at the expense of other things, either because it's used as a tool for coping or because it becomes dogmatic and isolating, it's time to take a step back and use that big picture wide-angle lens. The bottom line, how we eat often relates to our attempts to fit into the matrix all around us, a matrix that can prevent us from slowing down, tuning in, and de-stressing. Let's begin to deconstruct how this matrix phenomenon might fuel emotional eating through three lenses, mindset, mindlessness, and disconnection. Lens number one, mindset. Through this lens, we might see how in the eating matrix self-should leads us away from self-care, self-judgment and the should-ing ourselves crowds out physical and emotional nourishment. Common mind traps include comparing ourselves to others, aiming for perfection, and ruminating. Ruminating means thinking about something over and over again, unable to move forward, so for example, not being able to let go of the thoughts that we're not good enough for whatever reason. As we've discussed emotions and stress affect digestion as do limiting beliefs. We might even say that staying stuck in unhelpful patterns keeps our digestion stuck. Would you agree? In short, we're often our own worst critics. Food often becomes about willpower rather than nourishment. We fight instead of embrace. As such, even if we eat all the right foods, we don't reap the benefits that we could be reaping. There's an interesting study about how pleasure can enhance nutrient absorption. It sounds like some science fiction plot, but it's true. In this study, Swedish and Thai women ate the same Thai food, but the Swedish women only absorbed half as much iron as the Thai women. What's the difference? Well, the researchers suggested that the Thai women enjoyed the meal more because it was food they were familiar with. What do you think about that? Or how about this? Have you ever been on a trip and indulged in foods that you might not typically eat only to find that you didn't gain any weight or even lost weight upon your return home? You might call this the French mentality, where your metabolism improved because like the French who are known to eat rich foods and drink wine in moderation allowed you to enjoy the meal. You might have eaten more slowly and focused more on a food-as-celebration mindset rather than a standard should mentality. When it comes to food as well as exercise, thoughts and emotions matter. You can say that motivation affects metabolism. Stay tuned for more science behind this later on in the course. It's a fascinating aspect of emotional eating and one that might appeal to your more analytical clients. Okay, moving on, lens number two, mindlessness. Using this lens, we might see how eating in the matrix often includes mindless eating habits. Have you ever heard there are two types of people, those who eat to live and those who live to eat? Some people eat to live. They can easily skip a meal and they don't seem to care as much about what they eat, they simply eat when they get hungry, and go on with their day. Perhaps, it's just not a priority or perhaps they're extremely focused on what they should eat. On the flipside, they might think about food as nothing more than fuel. Other people live to eat. You might know them as foodies. They love food and eating, and they're always looking forward to the next meal. They're the people who ask what's for dinner at breakfast. Some foodies have fun experimenting with eating healthier foods that also satisfy their taste buds. In other words, they aim for health and pleasure. Of course, this is an oversimplification, but it's a helpful comparison, both mindsets eat to live and live to eat can veer toward mindless eating habits. For example, when eating serves a purpose other than nourishment, we might find ourselves snacking when we're not hungry just because it's there and it looks good or because we need some instant gratification and we associate food with pleasure. Media doesn't help. It constantly bombards us with messages that perpetuate our desire to have anything we want right now. After all, you only live once, right? Can you see how in a culture of instant gratification, we might turn to food to maintain a constant flow of feel good hormones, like dopamine, and how this can, over time, turn into an emotional eating cycle? Mindless eating can include eating quickly, multitasking, and eating at the fridge or on the run. It can also include lack of awareness of what and how we're eating and the hunger and/or emotions that motivated our eating. For example, many people who binge aren't aware of what and how they're eating and they might have a hard time stopping because they feel so out of control. This leads me to the third lens, lens number three, disconnection. Using this lens, we might understand how eating in the matrix inspires disconnection from ourselves and from others. Again, we'll dig deeper later in the course. For now, here are some questions that you can explore yourself and use with clients. How do your eating habits disconnect you from your authentic self? For example, what effect does on-again, off-again dieting have in contrast to a more sustainable lifestyle? How do your eating habits disconnect you from your values and what you really want, both in food and in life? What would you be doing if you weren't spending so much time thinking about food? It can be really eye-opening to take a look at what you really want to be doing or feeling in your life and why you're not doing it. Is there a disconnect between how you fill your days and how you fill your body? Is emotional eating serving you by giving you an excuse to hold back on bigger life goals that feel risky? This type of disconnect is a form of subconscious self-sabotage. Perhaps the idea of having what you want scares you or perhaps you're afraid to fail, so you stay in control of failure by staying in your cycle of stuckness. Think of it this way. If you're too busy beating yourself up over your weight and eating habits and immerse yourself in shame and failure, it provides a distraction and an excuse to not tackle bigger things in your life that scare you, like starting your own business or dating. Does this make sense? How do your eating habits disconnect you from your body? Using food for a purpose other than physical nourishment or energy disconnects you from your bio-computer. The body is wise, we might crave something because our bodies feel out of sync and seek balance. Do your eating habits honor that wisdom? And how do your eating habits disconnect you from others? Does eating at your desk lead to mindlessness? Does your diet isolate you from others? Do your secret indulgences lead to shame? Using the lenses of mindset, mindlessness, and disconnection can provide a helpful framework for understanding connections between eating habits and other lifestyle habits. Let's end there for now because that's a lot to think about. To help you sort it out, we included an exercise called How You Do along with a few reflection questions in the Skill Building Activities section of your Learning Center. Try applying this material to yourself. Thanks for joining me. I'll see you back here soon.

Video Details

Duration: 14 minutes and 55 seconds
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 5
Posted by: integrativenutrition on Aug 30, 2018

How We Eat Today_Final

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