It seems that it has been easier to fall into the cycle of mindless eating lately. You know, the trap of consuming food but not actually paying attention to what you’ve just eaten, how much you’ve eaten or possibly what it even tasted like. Whether it’s on the couch, as we go about our day, or standing in the middle of our kitchen with a snack or leftover – being unaware of our eating habits can have a big impact on our health.
We should enjoy what we eat and take a healthier approach to the activity. Here are a few ways that may help you to avoid mindlessly eating and packing on unwanting calories, fat, or carbohydrates.
Break Fast. Did you know that studies have shown that by starting our day with a healthy breakfast can produce benefits such as increased energy, higher daily fiber, and calcium intake and less consumption of fat throughout the day? When we sit down to a healthy breakfast we can kickstart our metabolism and provide the physical power and brainpower that our body and mind will need throughout the day to accomplish our goals and to make better decisions. I know it may be a challenge for some, but find something healthy that you can eat, mindfully, in the morning to break your overnight fast and get your body pumping.
Plan it. One of the best ways to stay accountable for our actions is to plan them. Make a meal plan, write it down and shop for it. Try to stick to it as much as possible. It’s so easy to eat a bit of this or that here and there throughout the day – piling on unwanted and unhelpful foods without realizing it. Having a plan will help you to stay on track and control eating habits. Not sure that a meal plan will help? Try writing down everything as you eat it – and looking back at it after a week. You may be surprised at what you’ll find.
Drink up. Water that is! Did you know that we can easily mistake what is actually dehydration for hunger? Think you’re craving a snack or meal at the wrong time of day? Try drinking a large glass of water and then giving yourself approximately 15 minutes. After that, if you’re no longer feeling “hungry” – you probably weren’t in the first place. But, by no means, replace meals with water! Do drink a full glass of water before and with your meals. Staying hydrated and full of an appropriate amount of water will help us to avoid filling that space with much-needed H2O. Is the water too bland for you? Try adding just a big of fresh or even frozen fruit to liven up the flavor. Not too much though! Keep in mind that fruit is nature’s candy.
Eat on purpose. Plan your food and meals so that you are focused on eating during mealtime. Eating on the go and while standing can cause us to consume more food and more often. Turn off the television and put down the phone. Enjoy your food, enjoy the taste and textures. Take your time and have meals on purpose.