Make Peace With Your Plate
Lasting weight loss doesn't begin with deprivation or counting calories, says Brandt Passalacqua, an Integral Yoga therapist and the author of the book and DVD series Peaceful Weight Loss Through Yoga. Nine years ago, Passalacqua says, yoga helped him shed 100 pounds by teaching him to care for himself both physically and emotionally. The experience led him to create a weight-loss program that uses gentle asana, breathwork, and meditation to help you de-stress and tune in to what your body really needs. "People put the diet part first," he says. "It doesn't work that way."
Before you can embrace the lifestyle changes that result in lost pounds, Passalacqua says, you must first learn to take care of yourself. Perhaps counterintuitively, this includes making a conscious practice of feeding yourself regular, healthful meals. When eating becomes a self-care practice instead of a reason for guilt, you're more likely to make healthful food choices and to heed your body's cues about how much is enough. "When we are nourished, like a plant, we can grow and thrive," he says.
But if you're used to depriving yourself of food, you may need to teach yourself to eat well and regularly, Passalacqua says. For most people, he says, this means eating at least four times a day at even intervals, which keeps your blood sugar from crashing and helps you avoid unhealthy snacking. With practice, learning to view eating as an act of self-love rather than a source of anxiety or harm can transform your relationship with food.
Meditation: Food for Thought
Make eating an act of self-care by starting your day with this practice from Brandt Passalacqua:
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