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How to Let Yourself Enjoy an Indulgence Without Overdoing It

by | May 29, 2017

A fundamental principle of being a foodist is that you shouldn’t restrict yourself from eating foods that you love. One of the wonderful aspects of eating is that it is pleasurable, and this is an entirely valid reason to choose to eat something.

New and aspiring foodists love this idea, but often find it difficult to balance the values of eating for pleasure and eating for health. Exactly how often is it “okay” to choose foods for pleasure? How much of them can you “enjoy”? And how do you stop yourself from overdoing it once you’ve started?

Katie is grappling with these issues, and can’t help but feel that she doesn’t have enough self-control to stop herself from overeating junk foods, despite her love of healthy foods as well.

Together we discuss how she can develop the ability to choose indulgences that are more valuable to her and stop eating when she’s truly satisfied, rather than way past that point.

Wish you had more time to listen to the podcast? I use an app called Overcast (no affiliation) to play back my favorite podcasts at faster speeds, dynamically shortening silences in talk shows so it doesn’t sound weird. It’s pretty rad.

 

Related links:

Mindful Meal Challenge

 

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If you’d like to be a guest on the show, please fill out the form here and tell us your story.

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FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD: Willpower is obsolete, running extends your life, and banning trans fat saves lives

by | Apr 14, 2017

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup. 

Next week’s Mindful Meal Challenge will start again on Monday. Sign up now to join us!

This week willpower is obsolete, running extends your life, and banning trans fat saves lives. 

Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed reading app to read at 300+ wpm. So neat!

I also share links on Twitter @summertomato and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you.

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How to Avoid Overeating During Periods of Intense Physical Training

by | Feb 27, 2017

Nicole loves to run, and has recently upped her training to include half and full marathons. While she has never run with the goal of weight loss, she has noticed that when she trains for longer races she has a tendency to gain unwanted fat around her midsection that she isn’t happy about.

Nicole’s hypothesis is that the extra fat is a result of the additional refined carbohydrates (e.g. bread and pasta) that she eats during training periods. She said that she has tried to fuel her workouts with foods that contain fewer carbs, but that she notices a negative impact on her performance.

After some investigating of her training and eating habits, Nicole and I conclude that this theory is inaccurate and that most likely culprit isn’t the pre-workout carbs but the post-workout hunger and subconscious overeating that results from intense training.

Extensive training both increases the body’s calorie demands and hunger, while weakening willpower and normal social constraints on overeating. The end result is a subconscious tendency to eat more calories than you actually need to refuel and subsequent weight gain. Achieving balance in this case is uniquely challenging.

This leads to a detailed discussion of the optimal ways to fuel her workouts and plan her post-training meals and snacks so that she doesn’t inadvertently eat more than she needs to recover and feel satisfied.

Wish you had more time to listen to the podcast? I use an app called Overcast (no affiliation) to play back my favorite podcasts at faster speeds, dynamically shortening silences in talk shows so it doesn’t sound weird. It’s pretty rad.

 

Related links:

Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin

Mindful Meal Challenge

How Can Julie Stop Overeating at Dinner Parties?

Home Court Habits: The Secret to Effortless Weight Control

 

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If you’d like to be a guest on the show, please fill out the form here and tell us your story.

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How Jason Lost 4 lbs in One Week Through Mindful Eating

by | Feb 20, 2017

Jason is an old friend of my husband’s who also happens to be the editor of this podcast. Since he’s started listening to the show he’s become more and more health conscious, and when I launched the Mindful Meal Challenge he decided to give mindful eating a try.

Jason is a perfect test subject for mindful eating, because as he was already trying to get his healthstyle in a better place he already has a set menu for breakfast and lunch. This means that what he was eating didn’t change, so any change in his eating habits can be directly attributed to mindfulness.

He found that his morning three egg omelet was in fact larger than he needed to be satisfied, so he has now cut back to two. He also found that even though he found himself consuming less for breakfast, he wasn’t as hungry when lunch and dinner came around.

Simply by eating one Mindful Meal per day in the morning, Jason lost 4 lbs in the first week of the challenge.

Although he is still trying to figure out the best healthstyle for himself moving forward (which I help him troubleshoot in this episode as well), mindful eating is now a major part of his weight control strategy.

Wish you had more time to listen to the podcast? I use an app called Overcast (no affiliation) to play back my favorite podcasts at faster speeds, dynamically shortening silences in talk shows so it doesn’t sound weird. It’s pretty rad.

 

Relate links:

Mindful Meal Challenge

Foodist Kitchen

Simple Gourmet: Roasted Beets With Fresh Mint and Chèvre

Aeropress coffee maker

Hamilton Beach toaster oven

Blue Bottle Coffee

“The reason you’re suffering is you’re focused on yourself.” -Tony Robbins from Tools of Titans, by Tim Ferriss

 

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If you’d like to be a guest on the show, please fill out the form here and tell us your story.

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When To Be Mindful (And When to Stop Worrying About It)

by | Feb 1, 2017

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of mindful eating. Research has repeatedly shown that mindful eating helps people make better food choices, stop bingeing, enjoy meals more and naturally eat less.

It can help you break unhealthy eating patterns and replace them with healthier ones.

And it is often the last piece of the puzzle for healthy eaters who still struggling to lose those last few stubborn pounds.

But mindful eating is hard to do. Your brain naturally rejects mindful awareness and desperately seeks to follow your impulses to think and/or judge your current situation rather than simply observe it.

These impulses are STRONG. And fighting them to bring your attention back to the present moment can feel exhausting, especially in the early days of your practice.

This is usually when people start to question if mindfulness is even worth it. Enjoying your food more and eating less sounds great and all, but at what price?

How can you enjoy your meal when you’re in a tug of war with your own mind?

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The 5-Day Mindful Meal Challenge

by | Jan 1, 2017

 

The Mindful Meal Challenge has a new website. Join us at mindfulmealchallenge.com

UPDATE: The Mindful Meal Challenge was such a success we’re going to run it again every week. Sign up now to start on Monday!

Mindful eating is the most underrated health habit everyone is talking about. Self-proclaimed wellness websites love to tout the benefits of slowing down and savoring your food, yet it almost never comes up in conversation with someone who is serious about losing weight or improving their health.

This is probably because mindful eating is a deceptively simple idea that is incredibly hard to implement.

Most people aren’t even sure what mindful eating actually is, and so they say things like “I try to eat mindfully” then just keep eating the way they always do and hope that one day they’ll magically stop going back for seconds. Fat chance.

But mindful eating really is an amazing thing if you can turn it into a habit. Focusing on the experience of eating has a bigger impact on how satisfying a meal is than the number of calories it contains (1). As a result you enjoy your food more, while naturally eating less.

Eating mindfully can also make you less vulnerable to eating triggers that can cause you to eat more quickly (2) and overeat (3).

For many healthy eaters, mindful eating is the last piece of the puzzle for finally losing those last few stubborn pounds.

Personally, mindful eating has helped me feel back in control of my eating experience. When I was a dieter one of the terrible eating habits I developed was gobbling my food in a frantic rush whenever I sat down to a real meal.

My frenzied eating was trigged by a combination of extreme hunger (since I rarely let myself eat when I wanted) and the guilt I felt from giving into it, making me want to get the meal over with as quickly as possible. These were not my finest moments.

Mindful eating is what enabled me to snap out of my frantic mindless eating habit and actually appreciate the beautiful food I am so lucky to have access to.

But dang is it hard to do.

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FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD: Oreos really are like crack, how genetics impact being vegan, and how to get teens to quit junk food

by | Oct 28, 2016
For the Love of Food

For the Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup. 

This week Oreos really are like crack, how genetics impact being vegan, and how to get teens to quit junk food.

Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed reading app to read at 300+ wpm. So neat!

I also share links on Twitter @summertomato and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you.

Read the rest of this story »

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Use This Mindful Eating Placemat to Remember to Slow Down and Enjoy Your Food

by | Oct 19, 2016
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Eating mindfully is without a doubt one of the most difficult habits to acquire, because by definition if you aren’t being mindful then you aren’t aware of it.

For this reason I have recommended embedding triggers into your eating habits to remind yourself to pay attention to the act of eating. That way even if you are in a distracted or in a preoccupied state of mind you can be pulled out of it and brought back to awareness of the present moment for long enough to regain control of your attention.

Why is this important, you ask? Let me count the ways.

First, for most of us our eating habits are already deeply ingrained. That means that consistently choosing anything outside our normal habits requires awareness of our actions so we can intentionally choose a different course. Whether you have the habit of ordering a burger every time you go out with colleagues for lunch or eating the leftovers out of your kid’s lunchbox, mindless eating is often the instigator and reinforcer of your most unhealthy food habits.

Second, for many of us food isn’t just a source of fuel or pleasure. Instead we use it to avoid uncomfortable thoughts and emotions. We eat to intentionally forget ourselves, and in these moments we almost never choose foods that will make us feel good afterward. Mindfulness is the first step in breaking this pattern of emotional eating, because it is only when you’re aware that you are acting out a self-defeating pattern that you have any chance of choosing a different path.

Third, even if you have a habit of choosing real, unprocessed foods, overeating can still prevent you from achieving your health and weight loss goals. When you eat mindlessly you can easily fall prey to all the cues in your eating environment that trigger you to consume more than you need, including bigger plates, bright lights, fast music, ravenous dining partners and the duration of your favorite show. Mindful eating puts you back in touch with your own needs and desires, and can break the pattern of overeating.

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How Yoga and Mindful Eating Helped Sherry Lose 16 lbs Without Effort

by | Jun 12, 2016

Foodist_Podcast

As a lifelong healthy eater, Sherry wasn’t trying to lose weight. Sure she would have been happy to drop 5-10 lbs, but she was comfortable with her body and health. She even thought she was a mindful eater until a stressful event in her life caused her to start a consistent yoga practice.

Yoga, it turned out, became a catalyst to help her relieve stress and let go of difficult emotions. As she developed this talent during strenuous yoga poses, she noticed it began to translate into her eating behavior.

Without specifically trying to change anything, Sherry became more aware of her eating habits and started to eat more mindfully. As she did this she naturally started eating slower and being more thoughtful about her food choices.

To her surprise, she discovered she had been eating way more food than her body actually wanted or needed. She also started slowly changing the composition of her meals to be more plant-based, since this was more in line with what she was craving.

While she still enjoys sweets like chocolate cake on occasion, Sherry has embraced mindful eating and over the past year lost 16 lbs without actively trying to lose weight.

Wish you had more time to listen to the podcast? I use an app called Overcast (no affiliation) to play back my favorite podcasts at faster speeds, dynamically shortening silences in talk shows so it doesn’t sound weird. It’s pretty rad.

Listen:

Listen on iTunes

Listen on Stitcher

Listen on Soundcloud

 

 

If you’d like to be a guest on the show, please fill out the form here and tell us your story.

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Bonnie Transforms From a Junk Food Speed Eater to a Mindful Vegetable Lover and Loses 40 Lbs

by | May 16, 2016

Foodist_Podcast

“I always wanted to be that person who went to the gym regularly and ate whatever they wanted, I just didn’t know this was how you got there. That person was in me all along.”

Bonnie grew up loving all kinds of foods, especially junk food. She never liked dieting and had come to accept that she would probably always be a size 12.

Fear of developing diabetes like her father eventually prompted her to create a New Year’s resolution to try to be healthier. She slowly added exercise and changed her eating habits, and the weight began to come off until she hit a summertime plateau.

Stuck at the same weight for five months, Bonnie eventually found Summer Tomato and decided to give mindful eating a try. To her surprise she learned she was eating more than double the amount of food her body actually wanted, and that she had a true love for vegetables.

Bonnie is now comfortably a size 8, though she’s not sure what her final size will be. Although she still occasionally treats herself to fast food or sweets, her preferences have changed substantially. She’s happy where she is, but feels like her journey is just starting.

When I asked her if making all these changes was difficult she said, “It was the opposite of hard. It was the opposite of restrictive.”

 

Links from the show:

‘The Myth of Willpower’ (chapter from Foodist) and free starter kit

The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan

Roger Goes From Hating the Gym to Loving Workouts and Loses 26 lbs Without Noticing

The End of Over Eating, by Dr. David Kessler

How to Eat Half a Donut

How to Make Cauliflower Taste as Good as French Fries

 

Listen:

Listen on iTunes

Listen on Stitcher

Listen on Soundcloud

 

If you’d like to be a guest on the show, please fill out the form here and tell us your story.

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