Are you concerned about staying healthy and slim? Are you packing on pounds and you do not know why?
Studies have shown that dieters who keep a food diary (also known as a food journal) are more likely to meet their weight loss goals then people who don’t. This is because keeping track of everything that you eat can help you notice when you might be mindlessly snacking.
Keeping a food diary may also your recognize any emotional problems that may be causing the person to overeat. You may be able to see what triggers you to do things like “stuff down your anger with food” or even eat just out of sheer boredom. By noting everything you eat in a diet diary or food journal, you’ll be able to see
Sometimes a doctor, such as an M.D. or a psychiatrist will ask you to keep a food diary so that they find out if anything that you are eating is triggering obesity. The same goes for certain types of fitness instructors, dieticians and nutritional counselors.
In your food diary you should include what you ate, what time you ate the food and where. Write down whether or not it was consumed in a restaurant, at home, or in your car. You also need to notate whether you were eating alone, with friends or sitting down at a family meal. Don’t forget to include everything that was included in the meal or snack. Don’t forget to include things such as salad dressing, butter, sour cream mayonnaises, sauces and gravies.
You should also describe what sort of mood you were in while you were eating. Were you feeling sad, happy or depressed or was it simply time to have a meal?
It also helps keep track of your water intake. You should be drinking eight glasses of water a day. Do not include tea, soft drinks or any other types of beverages as part of this accounting. Give yourself a pat on the back if you somehow manage to drink more than eight hours of water a day.
There are certain tricks to keeping a food diary successfully. For instance make sure that you carry your food journal with you wherever you go. Don’t depend on your memory to recall information about what you ate. The memory of a dieter tends to be very selective. Make sure you record what you are consuming as you go and you will be more mindful of what goes in your body.
A popular tradition practice for over five millennia, meditation is based on deep concentration leading to awareness and development of the spiritual side of the individual. Meditation is a requirement of the leading faiths of the world and continues to grow in both religious and secular practice. As a result of the widespread and diverse nature of meditation for the student, meditation classes cover a very broad landscape of choice, from the full commitment of the religious temple to the online prerecorded audio guide.
The religious faith that involves meditation practice and takes meditation perhaps more seriously than any other is Buddhism. Since meditation is a central element of the Buddhist eightfold path of view, intention, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness and concentration, instruction can take a much more intensive form than other modes of meditation. In the US, for example, those wishing to learn Buddhist meditation without a clear commitment to the Buddhist faith can still have a choice of rich experiences at their disposal.
For a North American university-level experience, Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado is a “contemplative education” institution incorporating Buddhist meditative experience into a variety of degree programs. Naropa also offer a master’s program psychotherapy in which Buddhist meditative instruction plays a central role.
Some choices can be costly for the beginning student: the Shambhala Mountain Center, located high in the Colorado mountains, offers a full menu of meditation classes, including techniques of Shambhala and Tibetan Buddhism, regular meditation retreats, courses in contemplative theory, and many other programs. The mountain-air atmosphere is well chosen, but the student is well advised to look elsewhere for more affordable introductions to Buddhist meditation.
A popular form of meditation retreat in North America and Europe is the satsang, an all-inclusive retreat involving both community and solitary activity. Individuals taking part in a satsang are assisted in their meditation exercises towards overall goals of enlightenment. The teacher, or leader of the satsang, encourages a silent association with one’s “inner truth” but engages in dialogue with the student where necessary to seek out meditative techniques suitable for the individual.
Perhaps the most popular form of meditation in the western world is Transcendental Meditation (TM), derived from ancient Hindu tradition. The TM course is four days in length, after which the student is given a mantra, the keyword (usually Sanskrit) to act as the focal point for each meditation session. There is a $2500 charge for the introductory TM course, another cost consideration for the beginner. TM instructors teach the concentrative form of meditation, which is intended to free the mind to a point where the body is at rest but the mind is alert.
The exhaustively researched health benefits of meditation are by now well known and include stress reduction, decreased oxygen consumption, a sharp improvement in heart and respiratory rates, improved mood and heightened awareness. As a result, many hospitals in North America offer secular meditation courses for patients and the general public.
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