Ever sat with a bag of chips in your hand, watching tv and suddenly realized you ate the whole thing?
How about a pint of ice cream?
You may have meant to just have a spoonful or two. But then you got distracted, and it tasted good, and you ate much more than that.
It’s called eating mindlessly, and it’s all too easy to do.
What is mindless eating?
It’s the little decisions we make about food each day without thinking about them or realizing that we’re making them.
Studies have shown that we make over 200 decisions about food every day, and we are unaware of most of them. And it’s the decisions that we don’t think about that are most likely to lead to weight gain.
The good news is that there are ways to stop eating mindlessly.
When you learn what the traps of mindless eating are, you can take control of them.
Top 4 things that lead to mindless eating.
Knowing these will help you begin to eat mindfully.
1. Super-sized. Big packaging means more to eat without thinking about it.
Economy packaging can lead to making 23% more when preparing food and eating up to 25% more than you need.
Bigger packages may save money up front, but you’ll pay in what you eat. If you need to buy big packages to save money, repackage into small ones.
2. Variety. It may be the spice of life, but it leads you to eat up to 23% more too. When you load your plate up with a lot of the same thing, you’re likely to push away from the plate sooner. Even keeping foods to the same colors helps!
3. Convenience. The easier it is to eat, the more you will. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
A plate of cookies sitting at arm’s reach is easier to eat than one that’s across the room. And the one sitting out across the room is easier to eat than the cookies that are wrapped up and inside the cabinet.
The harder you make it to eat the wrong thing, the less likely it is that you will.
4. Clock watching. When you eat by the clock instead of by what your stomach is telling you, you’re likely to eat far more than you want or need.
Before you sit down to eat, stop and listen to what your body is telling you. If you’re not hungry, don’t eat.
5 Hacks for Mindful Eating
1. Think BIG. The more space your food takes up, the more your brain thinks you’re eating. It makes you think you’re full faster, and you’ll end up eating less.
So, how do you fool your brain and add volume to your food without gaining weight? Adding spinach or kale to your smoothie will bulk it up and make it feel like you’re being decadent. You can puree vegetables and add them to your casseroles.
2. Chew your food. Delight in the taste of your meals by chewing food slowly and thinking about how much you’re enjoying the flavors and textures.
3. Unplug. Turn off the TV, put down the cell and make mealtime about the food and conversation. Turn on some dinner music, light a candle and savor your delicious, healthy meal.
Studies show you’ll eat 25% more if you’re distracted while you’re eating.Tweet
4. Stay Prepared. Those 200 decisions you make about food will be easier if you keep healthy foods at the ready. Convenience is key. Prep on Sunday for the week and make double portions at dinner to pack for lunches and leftovers.
5. Safe Zone. Make your home a temptation free sanctuary of your good health. It’s as simple as not bringing the junk food into your house.
How likely are you to run to the store when a 10PM chip craving strikes? If you’re like most you’ll settle for the walnuts that are already in your kitchen.
All these tricks will help you be mindful about what you’re putting in your mouth.
This will ultimately help you eat healthier, feel better, lose weight. The best part is you’ll eat with more enjoyment and less regret.
Yours in health,
P.S. I hope you’ll share these tips with your friends and I love to hear from you. Leave me your comments below.