Mindless Eating: What comes to your mind when you hear this phrase? Your mad dash out the door in the morning? Standing up eating, while feeding the kids? Eating snacks while enjoying a movie? All of these scenarios can lead to unnecessary intake of calories and ultimately, weight gain. There is a lot of research on mindless eating, which shows that people really do not simply eat because they are hungry and we lose sight of our hunger and fullness cues in this fast paced society. Make it your goal to MINDFULLY EAT! This means enjoying every calorie and listening to your body. Some simple steps to MINDFULLY EAT include:
- Only eat in one area of your house, specifically your kitchen/dining room table.
- Portion out snack foods into small bowls and put the container away before sitting down to enjoy the snack
- If you must eat on the go, set yourself up to succeed by packing fruits, vegetables or 100 calorie packs of nuts. If you drive thru somewhere, limit your food choices to 500 calories or less for a meal and 200 calories or less for a snack.
- If you eat at a restaurant, divide your portion in ½ and ask for a “to-go” box BEFORE starting to eat (or share a meal!)
- Do not let yourself eat in front of the TV/Computer or at your work space.
- Ask yourself: “Do I need this?” and say “STOP!” out loud if your snacking is getting out of hand.
- Drink water. Often, our brain can mistake thirst for hunger.
Hope these tips help! If anyone else has tips that keep them from mindless eating..please share by leaving a comment.
To Happy, Healthy Living,
Kristin Klinefelter, MS, RD, LD