Okay, we all do it. And let’s face it, it’s really bad for us, but we can’t help it. I’m talking about mindless eating. The “oh I ate that whole bag?” eating. The “I ate too much because I didn’t realize I was full” eating. It happens to all of us; we reach for the potato chips while we’re watching a Say Yes to the Dress marathon, or eat way too much because we’re out with friends and didn’t even realize we finished the entire hummus platter amidst all the gossip being tossed around. The worst part is, we didn’t even taste the food that we were eating. And now it’s gone. And you have a food baby. And you don’t want anyone to see it, so you wear loose-fitting clothing.
How do we stop this epidemic? Well first thing’s first: RECOGNIZE WHEN YOU’RE HUNGRY. Are you really hungry, or are you just bored? We all-too-often confuse boredom with hunger, or we have nothing better to do so we grab some chips, or candy, and watch TV until the whole bag is gone. That’s when the food guilt sets in. You need to teach yourself the difference between when you’re hungry and when you’re bored. When you’re sitting around and think that you need to eat, take a second to think about when the last time that you ate was. If you haven’t eaten in a while then you should grab some fruit or Greek yogurt. But, if you ate recently, then you’re probably bored and should find something to do. Go for a walk, or read a book, maybe a blog, teach yourself yoga, exercise, the possibilities are endless. But, don’t just eat because you’re bored.
HYDRATE. Sometimes, when you haven’t had enough to drink, your body mistakes your dehydration for hunger. Think about how much water that you’ve had that day, because this could be the source of that hunger that you want to get rid of. Drink lots of water all day everyday. Seriously. If not for all of the other tons of benefits, do it because if you don’t you’ll eat too much and have a food baby.
SLOW DOWN. YELLOW LIGHT. Seriously we all need to sllllooooooowwwww down when we eat. We scarf food down and we don’t even appreciate the flavors and tastes. I may just be a bit of a foodie, but food is good and should be appreciated. Plus, eating too fast makes gas build up in your stomach and that creates a lot of discomfort and bloat, which sucks. Another negative effect of eating too fast is that you will always end up overeating. If you take the time to chew your food (and actually taste it and enjoy it) then you will become fuller faster. When you eat quickly and shovel the food in, your body takes a little bit to catch up, and by the time your body understands how much you’ve eaten, it’s too late, you already ate too much.
WHAT IS MINDFULNESS? Mindfulness is paying close attention to what you’re doing. It’s taking in the small details of everything and comprehending it.
HOW DO I APPLY THIS TO FOOD? By simply paying attention to what you’re eating, and paying attention to whether or not you’re actually hungry. Take small bites, chew slowly, pay attention the flavors and the textures. Enjoy your food!
THE CHALLENGE: Eat your food mindfully and pay attention to your hunger. Feed yourself only when you’re hungry, keep yourself hydrated, and don’t confuse boredom with hunger. Enjoy what you’re eating thoroughly and make smart choices. Good luck!