Food and Nutrition

4 Ways to Stop Mindless Eating

| by Mitzi Dulan

We’ve all been there. A few extra bites here, a couple of sips there, another quick handful, scoop, or lick – and before you know it, the whole bag of chips, pint of ice-cream, bottle of soda, or food on your plate is gone!

Completely Eaten!

And usually without you noticing until there’s no more food to grab or beverage to drink. It seems today that when we sit down to eat (or even stand for some of us) we focus on everything but what we’re actually eating. We’ve become mindless eaters, distracted by everything and anything - TV, magazines/newspapers, the day’s list of chores and tasks to accomplish, family, friends, or coworkers you’re dining with, or the many worries and thoughts on your mind. And this absent-minded way of eating we have developed is having negative consequences on the scale. The more unaware we become of what we’re eating, the more calories we consume.

Here are 4 easy ways to change from a MINDLESS eater to a MINDFUL eater:

1. Use smaller Plates, Bowls, Glasses, & Utensils: the smaller the dishes and silverware you use, the less food you will subconsciously serve yourself. Since the 1960s, the size of the dinner plate has increased, and we have increased our portion size to fit these bigger plates without even being aware. Don’t be tricked! Look for smaller dishware when purchasing new plates and bowls.

2. Eat Individualized Portions: when at the supermarket, buy products that are sold in individual portions such as individual cups of yogurt, snack bags, or single-wrapped cheeses. This can be more expensive than buying in bulk, but it can also be a great way to prevent mindless eating and save calories! If you don’t want to spend the extra money, buy products in bulk and portion them out into individual containers or plastic bags right after purchasing.

3. Out of Sight, Out of Mind: don’t keep food visual, unless, of course, it’s a big bowl of fruit or veggies! You will be more tempted to grab a handful of snacks or candies lying out on the kitchen counter or living room. Keep them stored away in your kitchen cabinets; ready to eat when you are MINDFUL of consuming them!

4. Serve Buffet Style: when making dinner, leave the food on the kitchen counter, not on the table where everyone is seated around. You will be more mindful of grabbing seconds when you have to stand up and walk to the food then simply reaching out in front of you.

Keep these tips in mind next time you go to eat and see how mindful of an eater you have become!

Research provided by Marsi Shapiro