FREEDOM. What an incredible feeling! In my last post, I shared my personal story about the discovery of mindful eating and the freedom and health it has brought to my own life. Through our work with mindful eating in the corporate wellness arena today, we have a tremendous opportunity to help others from a wide spectrum of organizations experience the many freedoms mindful eating can bring:
- Freedom from diets and yo-yo dieting
- Freedom from confusing, arbitrary rules about food
- Freedom from mindless and emotional eating
- Freedom to enjoy the foods you love without guilt or bingeing
- Freedom from obsessing about food, weight and exercise
- Freedom from exercise used as penance or punishment
- Freedom from a self-defeating and counterproductive focus on weight
- Freedom to nourish your body, mind and spirit
- Freedom to live to a mindful, vibrant life!
I’ll explore each of these “freedoms” as they occur in workplace programs over time in this blog. Today, we’ll start with the first: Freedom from diets and yo-yo dieting. Your own personal and professional experience may have already taught you that diets are not the answer for sustainable healthy living. Research in the area of dieting concludes that:
1. Most dieters will lose some weight initially regardless of the type of diet they are on; and
2. Very few dieters will keep the weight off for the long term.
There is also mounting evidence that repeated dieting and the associated weight cycling that often results may be more harmful than not dieting at all. (More on that in future posts.) This is probably not new news for most of you. If you’ve worked in the health promotion field for any length of time, you probably already know this truth so clearly that it needs no further discussion.
Diets don’t work. Period. But many millions of people still do not know this truth and continue to hope that if only they could only find and stick to the “right” diet, their weight and health problems would be solved. The weight loss and diet industries continue to expand in size and scope because of the large appetite among consumers for diet-focused solutions.
This is why our work in the corporate wellness arena is so important. Having access to hundreds or even thousands of employees at once is a gift because it allows us the opportunity to help on a large scale. With the delivery of Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating programs to employer groups, we offer relief from the ineffective, frustrating, and even harmful diet-mentality as we guide participants to discover the freedom and true health that mindful eating can bring.