In the West, there is a rising, multi-billion-dollar weight-loss industry, however, in spite of this, rates of obesity have risen to epidemic levels. A lot of individuals use several years attempting to shed weight with fancy diets and pills, usually with really small success. Obviously, the present market answers are not fixing their weight issues.
The main cause why the weight-loss industry is not fixing individuals’ weight issues is that it pays small concentration to the deeper problems of spirituals, psychological and physical, suffering. This suffering is not only the person’s obligation; it is as well as a result of broader societal effects.
Nowadays, the society supports more eating and less physical activity– mass advertising encourages extremely fatty, sugary and salty foods, whereas food has become oversized. Simultaneously, individuals’ way of like has turned into something much more sedentary. For instance, the typical North American house has more TVs than individuals and studies prove that using various hours per day watching TV is extremely correlated with obesity.
With these problems, it is clear that to address your weight issue you have to be informed of how society forces are affecting your own life; that is, how they promote an unhealthy way of life that makes you suffer, and how this suffering, in turn, leads you to consume more. If you think well on this vicious cycle, then you can start to fight it.
This is the point where a Buddhist method gets to the core of the issue. It informs you how to get a profound understanding of the suffering that underlies your unhealthy way of life. This understanding lets you take charge of your feelings, thoughts, and action in order for you to change your life.
Merging the methods of Buddhism and the tips of nutritional science, you have a sustainable, holistic approach of shedding weight and changing your life.
Chapter 1 – Buddhism explains four basic steps that will assist you to know about your weight issue and change your life.
For you to defeat your unhealthy eating routines, you have to change your life. In order to do this, it is better to become a member of a supportive society that’ll assist you to make this change. Likewise, it is as well significant to attempt for small successes instead to attempt taking huge leaps.
Buddhist teachings assist you to make this change in four main steps:
The first step to take is to embrace that you are suffering. Being overweight usually brings about leads to diabetes, high blood pressure, diabetes and several other health issues, and social issues like stigma and bullying.
The second step is to know the underlying causes of your suffering. Think deeply about your life: Do you know how unhealthy the way you eat is? Do you know that those negative feelings may be compelling you to overeat? In this process of thinking, treat yourself kindly by accepting your bad emotions rather than criticizing them harshly.
The third step is to become aware that you can shed weight. If you haven’t succeeded previously, that doesn’t mean anything, since the past doesn’t exist anymore; what is more significant is the path you are on now, in the present.
The last step is to practice living mindfully, which signifies being completely conscious of your body and mind in the current moment, instead of being distracted by feelings of the past and the future. The only means to take charge of your life back is to by living mindfully; it makes you aware of your entire actions.
Bear in mind that these four steps are not made to say “the truth” – they will basically assist you to awaken the truth that is in you already.
Chapter 2 – In order to defeat your unhealthy eating habits, learn to calmly concentrate on your mind and body in the current moment.
The majority of us experience our day-day lives being really distracted by feelings of the past and the future. Those kinds of thoughts have a tendency to overwhelm us with troubles, worries, and regrets. This signifies that we find it hard to concentrate our attention on the current moment.
This absence of consciousness of the current moment is known as mindlessness. When we live mindlessly, it’s a little bit similar to working on autopilot, and working on autopilot hinders us from becoming aware of our thoughts, desires, and habits as they grow in us.
This absence of awareness is what makes us fall into unhealthy habits like overeating. Living Unhealthy cannot offer us long-lasting satisfaction. As a matter of fact, they bring both physical and psychological suffering: our bodies get unhealthy and our minds get sad.
However, it is likely to defeat every unhealthy habit in order for you to start to feel happiness and peace. The manner to do this is to put a stop to living mindlessly: learn to concentrate your attention on the current moment. By doing that, you will get more conscious of all the things in your life: your movements, your thoughts, and your eating habits. This method of calmly concentrating your attention on the moment is known as mindfulness.
For instance, if practicing mindfulness while you are eating by concentrating just on your food rather than other things, your meals will turn into a spiritual experience since you will begin to profoundly appreciate their taste and healthfulness. When you begin to appreciate healthy food in this manner, you will not have cravings for unhealthy food anymore, and it will be possible for you to stop eating when you are full.
This transformative power of mindfulness lets you defeat the unhealthy habits that bring about your suffering and take your focus back to the richness and joy of life in the current moment.
Chapter 3 – Because we are connected to all things and everybody on earth, we have to be completely aware of how we consume resources.
All of us are used to thinking of ourselves individualistically, such as separate islands separated from others and from our surroundings. However, this idea is an illusion – as a matter of fact, all of us are connected.
Think of how eating just an orange can connect you to the whole universe: an orange grows on a tree that a person has planted; and then the tree grows out of the soil, with the assistance of water and sunlight; a lot of individuals are involved in picking, packing and moving the fruit, and every one of them is influenced in turn by various other people. By doing this, everything and everybody is eventually connected to the orange.
Sadly, a lot of people do not know of these connections. Hence, they eat without thinking about the well-being of people and the world.
A good illustration of this is people who consume a lot of meat, which is a tremendous drain on the earth’s resources. It requires 100 times as much water to make one kilogram of beef than one kilogram of protein from grain and rearing livestock as well adds hugely to climate change. In addition, meat production often entails the cruel treatment of animals. Hence, consuming meat is a selfish act, one that destroys the earth.
Now that you know that what you consume connects you to your society and, eventually, to the entire earth, you will know that your eating habits must not be selfish. This may motivate you to move away from eating a lot of meat and toward a diet that has more grains, vegetables, and beans. By doing this, you will be assisting to maintain a healthier globe with abundant food for everybody.
By looking past the rim of the plate as you eat, you recognize and value your connection with all things.
Chapter 4 – Shedding weight and changing your life isn’t only about how you feed your body; it’s about how you feed your mind as well.
Buddhism understands that “you are above what you consume.” Instead of only thinking about how we feed our bodies with food, we also have to think about how we feed our minds.
Sense impressions are one of the things that feed our minds– for instance, the sounds, the smells, and sights received through our sense organs. Our minds can be fed with specific senses deliberately, as shown in the manner the mass media, as well as advertisements, form a lot of sense impressions to direct at us, some of which make us get happier and more kind and others of which make us nervous, annoyed or sad.
Volition is another thing we feed off. This is our deepest will or desire to get something. Craving food, money or reputation will most likely never let us feel satisfied since cravings are not healthy desires. Conversely, the desire to be kind toward every living being is likely to form joy and peace in our lives, since kindness is a healthy desire.
Also, we feed off numerous things in our consciousness, which has a profound, hidden level and a conscious “awake” level. Every one of our experiences and perceptions has an effect at the deepest level, and ultimately, the consequences of this effect rise up into our conscious mind – as either positive emotions of kindness and love or negative emotions of annoyance and hate. Our conscious mind has to promote positive emotions to grow rather than negative emotions.
In order to do this, we have to be mindful of our entire sense impressions, desires, and conscious feelings. This will make sure that we do not feed our mind with negativity, since mindfulness dissolves negative emotions while promoting healthy desires, such as kindness, to grow.
When we get more mindful, we get more healthy not only in the body; however, in the mind as well.
Chapter 5 – In order to healthily, you have to think carefully ponder about the quality instead of the quantity of the nutrients you eat.
Sadly, the industry for weight-loss diets is full of opposing information. For instance, some diets assert that carbohydrates are bad, on the other hand, others assert that you can eat a lot of carbs as you like since it’s really fats you should be bothered about!
As a matter of fact, it is better to disregard these strict diets and rather learn from contemporary nutritional science, which teaches that, instead of removing a significant macronutrient from your food, you have to concentrate on the quality – and not only the quantity – of these nutrients: select foods with good carbs, good fats, and good proteins, not the bad ones.
Hence, where does one get a diet with good-quality nutrients?
You find the healthiest carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, while the carbohydrates from pasta, potatoes, white rice, and white bread, are much less healthy.
Another vital nutrient is fat; however, it’s significant to differentiate between good and bad fats. A basic rule is that monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (like those seen in tofu, fish, nuts, olive oil, avocado, and so forth) are usually healthy. These sources usually also have healthy Omega-3 fats, which are very advantageous for the heart. Conversely, saturated fats, (like those seen in red meat and dairy), have to be limited, whereas trans fats (seen mainly in deep-fried fast food) are best avoided completely.
Proteins are best sourced from whole grains, nuts, beans, and seeds since these foods have more healthy fats, vitamins, and fibers. Although red meat has a lot of protein, it also has a lot of unhealthy fat, which is the reason why you have to limit how much red meat you consume.
Chapter 6 – Make consistent physical workout a core part of your aim to lose shed weight and live a healthy life.
Regardless of what “miracle” remedies are advertised on the market, the fact still stays that you need to balance energy-in and energy-out to keep a healthy weight, which entails that you have to work out to burn off calories; and the tougher and longer you exercise, the more weight you will shed.
Additionally to assisting you to shed weight, consistent work out can bring a lot of other health advantages. For instance, in adults, it minimizes the risk of diabetes, heart disease, as well as other illness. Furthermore, it enhances mood, minimizes stress and prolongs your life. As a matter of fact, the weight-loss drugs and programs on the market may assert to be “the perfect cure,” however, a consistent workout is the closest to a magic potion that you can have!
Hence, as exercise is really vital to good health, how much do you really have to do?
According to the US federal recommendations, adults have to get 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise every week. This can range from brisk walking to ballroom dancing or gardening. Likewise, it is significant that after being active you get proper rest: have a consistent sleep rhythm, and stay away from heavy meals and caffeinated drinks before you go to bed.
Although this aerobic workout assists you to shed weight, that isn’t the only form of significant workout. Also, you have to concentrate on work out that boosts your strength and flexibility in order for you to build muscle, enhance agility and evade injury while doing an aerobic workout. These workouts can be as difficult or as easy as you want. For instance, you can do push-ups a few times per week for strength training and do some stretches, daily if possible, for flexibility.
Chapter 7 – Reflect carefully on how you can cut loose from bad habits that make you stuck in an unhealthy lifestyle.
All of us have habits that make us do things that we are aware we shouldn’t do like unhealthy night-time snacking. If you wish to change your life, you have to attempt to defeat those bad habits.
First and foremost, you have to transform the habits that hinder you from being mindful of the current moment. For instance, if you know that you fond of watching TV mindlessly for hours, then attempt to caution yourself as you reach for the remote control, breathe calmly, and question yourself, “Why do I want to watch television now?”
Also, you may discover that your TV, telephone or newspaper distracts you while eating. Try to let go of these distractions for a minimum of one meal per day in order for you to concentrate totally on your meal. When you are concentrated on your food, it will be possible for you to eat more slowly in order for you to become aware of when you are satisfied, and you will be more conscious of feeling such as l boredom or anger that might be compelling you to eat.
This awareness makes it very easy for you to keep your eating habits in check.
Another significant habit you have to be aware of is the tendency to come up with excuses in order for you to dodge physical workout. For instance, you may say to yourself that you “don’t have time” to workout. If that is true, then attempt to proactively “find the time” – maybe wake up earlier, or do some work out during your lunch break.
If you feel as though you’re sliding back into old habits you assumed you’d successfully defeated, don’t surrender your entire efforts. Just be mindful of your behaviors again – this will let you get motivated anew in order for you to get back on track.
Chapter 8 – Form eating and workout programs to assist you to see your weight-loss strategies through to the end.
There is a lot of good advice informing you on how to sustainably shed weight; but, it’s not usually that simple to put it into practice. The best method to put yourself on track and actually make transformations in your life is to have a written record of your aims and progress.
These records can be divided into an InEating strategy and an InMoving strategy.
Your InEating strategy has to be motivation so that you can eat healthily and mindfully. Jot down the reason why you think a healthy diet is desirable, what hurdles are hindering you from attaining it and how you can eradicate them. For instance, if you feel as though a night-time snacking in front of the TV is a hindrance, you can write a program like, “I will make a plan with a friend that we will call one another as a reminder to switch off the TV after one hour and get proper sleep.”
Your InMoving strategy will assist you to get appropriate exercise while being mindful of your movements. Think about the reason why working out is vital, think of what activities you really love to do and jot down your weekly work out targets. Attempt to attain the exact same targets for four weeks, and then form a new type of difficult targets for the next four weeks.
Your first target might be to work out for 20 minutes per day, for instance, to walk for approximately 2500 steps. Then, your next four-week target could then be to walk for 40 minutes per day, taking approximately 5000 steps, and it goes on like that.
By devising this eating and exercising strategies, you will be able to know the issues you’re facing, come up with solutions to them and then abide by your plans, making it very easy to change your life.
Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life by Thich Nhat Hanh, Lilian Wai-Yin Cheung Book Review
The obesity issue in contemporary society cannot be fixed by fad diets. These disregard the significant societal issues which make us overeat and avoid working out. Just by dealing with these issues can we hope to live a healthier way of like. The Buddhist method gives us an answer: it lets us to really think about all the issues that make us get unhealthy and assists us to tackle them by living just in the current moment. Together with contemporary nutritional science, it offers the best method of living a healthy and sustainable way of life.
A healthy diet clue: Whole grains are the best food for living a life that is healthy.
If you wish to eat a healthy diet, whole grains are the best place to begin. Whole grains are mainly beneficial for your health, maybe as a result of their specific mixture of nutrients, which defends you against cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Follow the seven practices of a mindful eater.
If you wish to eat mindfully, you have to bear in mind that it needs dedicated practice. In order to assist you to abide with the goal, attempt these seven steps to eating mindfully:
1. Honor the food – Keep mealtime discussions concentrated on the meal you are eating; do not debate about other issues. For instance, in Vietnam, it is usual to evade criticizing a person while they are eating in order for them to digest peacefully.
2. Engage your entire senses –Relish the stimulation of the sounds, aromas, colors, textures, and tastes of the meal.
3. Serve food in moderate portions – Moderate portion sizes to assist you to prevent over-eating and protect the planet’s resources.
4. Enjoy small bites and chew well– Small bites let you relish the food better, and chewing well assists you digest it well.
5. Eat slowly – If you eat your food slowly, you will stop when you are full, without mistakenly overeating.
6. Don’t skip meals – Skipping meals can make us feel hungry so we can carelessly grab unhealthy food.
7. Take a plant-based diet – Look past the rim of the plate. Red meats, as well as processed meats, are not just unhealthy for the body; however, they take a big toll on the surroundings as well. Based on some University of Chicago researchers, being vegetarian does more to hinder global warming than changing your Camry for a Prius.
How to meditate
For you to practice mindfulness, it is better for you to utilize meditations:
There are a lot of meditations you can attempt to assist you to live mindfully. Meditating teaches you to prevent distractions and concentrate your mind on the current moment.
Attempt these when you’re faced with the listed hard circumstances or negative feelings:
The Traffic-Jam Meditation
Nobody likes to be stuck in heavy traffic, and this can make us really annoyed. In order to stop yourself from being distracted by this anger, practice this listed meditation:
Breathing in, I go with my in-breath.
Breathing out, I go with my out-breath.
Breathing in, I know everybody is attempting to reach somewhere.
Breathing out, I wish everybody a peaceful, safe trip.
Breathing in, I return back to the island of calm in myself.
Breathing out, I feel refreshed.
The Anxiety Meditation
When you feel nervous or things are becoming a lot for you, attempt the following meditation:
Breathing in, I understand that this unpleasant feeling has appeared in me.
Breathing out, I understand that this unpleasant feeling is living in me.
Breathing in, I am feeling uneasy.
Breathing out, I embrace my anxiety.
The Walking Meditation
At least one time in a day, look for a room where you can walk mindfully. While walking, listen to your feet and their contact with the ground; only walk for the purpose of walking. Be conscious of the contact between your feet and the ground, and with every step, say that, “I have arrived.” This will take you back to the current moment.