Eating with awareness can be the key we need to losing weight and enjoying our food a whole lot more. Many times we aren’t aware of what we are putting in our mouths simply because we are focused on others things whilst we are eating. This is called mindless eating and can contribute significantly to our overall calorie intake for the day. The key is to be aware of when we are mindlessly eating.
So what constitutes mindless eating?
√ Eating whilst driving
√ Eating whilst reading the paper, watching TV, working on the computer
√ Eating whilst talking on the phone
√ Eating whilst thinking about our next meal rather than our current one
√ Eating whilst standing up
√ Eating out of large packets rather than small ones
√ Eating whilst stressed, bored, tired, lonely, frustrated, anxious, sad, or angry
By focussing on other things we can quickly consume a lot more than we actually need. So what can we do about mindless eating?
Here are some general tips:
- Attempt to eat only at a designated place for meals such as the dining table or breakfast bar.
- Avoid eating on the couch, in bed, or at your desk
- Avoid eating whilst watching TV, working on the computer, reading, or on the phone
- Try to focus on what you’re eating and enjoy every mouth full
- Take 20 minutes to eat a meal by slowing down chewing. It takes this amount of time for our stomachs to feel full so eating quicker than this can easily lead to overeating
- Avoid eating whilst driving
- Portion out a serving of snack food into a bowl instead of eating from large packets e.g. nuts, dried fruit etc.
- Avoid eating when feeling the above mentioned emotions. Try the 4 D’s instead – delay for 20minutes (time it takes for a craving to abate), drink water, deep breathe, and distract yourself.
Hopefully by following the above tips mindless eating will be a thing of the past for all of us. I’m sure our waistlines (and hip pockets) will be thankful.