Has this ever happened? You’re watching TV, you’ve finished your meal and you don’t remember eating it? Or you took those last few bites even though you were already too full?
These are examples of mindless eating.
Becoming mindful of our eating habits can help us reduce how much we eat and get more satisfaction from what we do eat.
Three tips for more mindful eating:
1. Identify external triggers that influence your eating
Common triggers for overeating are large meal plates and readily available high calorie snacks. Both can lead to eating more calories than you need to be satisfied. Try this:
- Eating from plates 10” or less in diameter
- Replace junk food in your home and office with fruit, whole grain crackers or other low calorie snacks
2. Listen to your body’s hunger cues
It can take 20 minutes for your brain to register fullness so try making your meals last longer:
- Slow down your eating; set your fork down between each bite
- Wait a few minutes before you take seconds – you may find you don’t need more food
3. Pay attention to the food you put in your mouth
We tend to overeat and get less enjoyment from food when our focus is on something other than what we are eating. Try this:
- Eat only while sitting down
- Turn off the TV and put down the newspaper when eating
What do you do to eat mindfully?
This is a guest blog by Ashley J. Harris, M.S., AICR Dietetic Intern. Ashley is completing her dietetic internship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.