Mindful portion control

by Dr. Ellen Cullman, FLT Columnist

Portion control is natural for the skilled mindful-eater. But what does this mean? How can mindful eating offer you such services, which is to provide at each meal a portion of food tailored just for you?

Mindful portion control is not about painstakingly measuring allotted rations of food into specified serving sizes only to wrestle later with thoughts of wanting more. Nor is it about slogging through your stockpile of frozen mail-order meals only to succumb to eventual cravings for food you really love.

Furthermore, what if you eat too much or defy the constraints you place on yourself? What if you say later “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing?” Will you struggle with the ensuing regret and guilt and then waddle through it until you feel better? And, of course, feeling better, at a minimum, entails waiting for your physical discomfort to subside.

There is still one more matter to consider. It is a worry that tends to stay on the fringes of your awareness. In fact, you want it there. Unlike your awareness of your consumed volume of food or distended belly, your on-the-fringe worry swings front and center when you review your lab results with your doctor. Blood levels of cholesterol, glucose and triglycerides, as well as blood pressure and weight, tell a story you do not want to hear.

So what is mindful portion-control? While you can’t measure or purchase it, you can feel it if you pay attention. You can “hear” your body “speaking” if you pay attention. Your commitment is not to your restricted diet or mail-order freezer food. Nor is it even to your doctor and the lab results.

Mindful portion control is about your commitment to you, your body and its well-being. Your body’s natural built-in mechanisms say to you “I am satisfied.” You “hear” it if you pay attention. It is about sensing how your body feels throughout a meal and then keeping your commitment to your well-being and setting your fork down when satisfied.

Good things happen in this “I am satisfied” comfort-zone you create for yourself. You feel emotionally competent and good about yourself, your body feels great and ready for your next activity, over time you lose weight and your next set of lab tests has you and your doctor smiling.

Dr. Cullman welcomes your questions for an upcoming column. The Spring 2013 Mindful Eating Workshop begins April 25. Email (mindfuleatingcoach@gmail.com) or call (419-494-7699) about workshop information or to schedule an individual appointment. Dr. Cullman also conducts presentations, seminars and personalized retreats. See all her columns at www.firstlocaltoledo.com/columnists/dr-ellen-cullman. Ellen Cullman, Mindful Eating Coach, Mindful Eating, weight control Toledo, eating workshops