When it comes to losing or controlling your weight, mindless eating is the exact opposite of what you want. Do you find it hard to stop eating once you start?
Do you get so exhausted you don’t even enjoy what you eat? As difficult as it may seem, a habit is just a series of steps that has a beginning, middle, and an end.
When it comes to how we eat and what we eat, we’re highly influenced by external cues. Even worse, dieters are even more susceptible to unconscious “nudges” than non-dieters!
Researchers have shown that eating a low calorie dinner is more effective for weight loss than eating a low calorie breakfast. Yet dinner is often the meal in which we (inadvertently) pack in the most calories.
Follow the below tips to stop this diet saboteur:
– Use Smaller Plates and Bowls. People will serve more and eat more from a big dish.
– Move Serving Dishes Off the Table. Ideally, move it out of sight
– Eating when bored is a tough habit to break, but if you continue to mindlessly reach for food every time you have the slightest desire, you’ll end up eating all day long.
– Avoid any hobbies that involve food, so maybe now’s not the time to bake a batch of cookies.
– T-he first bite is always the best so try to reduce your portions. Out to dinner? Tell them to pack up 1/2 of your food for home even before they bring out your plate to the table and say no to bread.
– Try adding 20% more veggies to your plate and take away 20% of the entree. 1/2 plate: Try making half of your plate veggies.
– When you are with 1 other person you’ll eat 35% more, with a group of 4 it’s 75% more and with 7 or more it’s 96% more! Be careful next time you’re in a group.
– Serve meals on salad plates rather than large dinner plates.
– Keep the candy dish out of view and move healthier foods to eye level in the cupboard and refrigerator.
– Eat in the kitchen or dining room, rather than in front of the TV, where you’re likely to lose track of how much you’ve eaten.
Two powerful questions to help you change the way you think about emotional and mindless eating:
1) “Am I using this food or am I eating this food?”
2) What’s really bothering me? What am I really hungry for?
In one test, 168 moviegoers who had just finished dinner were given fresh or stale popcorn from different-size containers. People ate 34% to 45% more popcorn if it was served in “extra-super-size buckets” than in regular large containers – even if the popcorn was stale.
To combat mindless eating, get rid of things in your immediate environment that are biasing you toward eating too much. While many of us are mindless eaters, we can train ourselves to better know when we’re full.
The good news: You can turn mindless eating into mindlessly eating better – and weight loss -simply by making little changes.