How to Stop Mindless Eating

We read a lot of health advice from different organizations to bring you health news and lifestyle tips. Some of the information is great but hard to follow in our daily lives. For instance, over-and-over, we see excellent advice to stop mindlessly eating. Focusing on your food leaves you satiated, more aware of your hunger levels and more likely to stick to your diet. When you mindlessly eat while doing other tasks, you can accidentally eat far more than you intended. However, if it were easy to stop, none of us would be snacking in the first place! Here are some useful tips to help you avoid absentmindedly snacking.
 
Some of the advice about mindless eating is just plain common sense. Don’t buy irresistible snacks in the first place and, if you do, put them in a hard to reach place so that you have to make an effort to eat them. Other advice might be too out there for your everyday life. Eating everything with chopsticks will make you focus on your food, but it might not be a feasible habit for you to pick up.
 
We wanted to look at things that aren’t significant changes and can just be part of your routine. After all, you aren’t going to eat snacks with chopsticks for the rest of your life, so it isn’t a long-term fix. We like straightforward tips you might never have thought of, no matter how simple. For instance, saying out loud, “I’m not hungry,” can help you not grab a snack.
 
When you decide you would like a snack, be it out of hunger or as a treat, put in on a plate and enjoy it like it’s a meal. Giving your snack your full attention makes you enjoy it more and cements it in your mind, making you less likely to snack again later. If you usually eat at the table for a meal, pull up a chair for that snack instead of being on the couch or on the move. And, when you have a snack, ask yourself if you’re hungry or bored. An occasional treat is fine, but eating out of habit can be detrimental. Answer the question: would I like to eat an apple? If ordinary fruit seems as appealing as your snack, it’s a sign you may be eating out of actual hunger. A quick trick to stop eating when just bored is keeping a drink close by. Sometimes we snack not out of boredom or hunger but as a fidgeting thing — something to do with our hands and mouth while focusing on something else. Having a glass of water nearby can make it so that the unconscious behavior is hydrating you!
 
There are other times where we overeat without even realizing it’s too much. When you put food on a plate, we tend to fill the plate, and we usually eat 92 percent of what we plated. An easy way to fix this is to use a smaller plate. Then, when you finish your food, you have to actually think about getting more food and deciding if you want it. This can also work by using a mug instead of a bowl or a tall thin glass instead of a short wide one. This both tricks your mind into thinking the food is a more substantial portion than it is, it also forces you to pause and decide if you want more.
 
One last, slightly out there, tip we only heard of recently: brush your teeth. Lingering food flavors can make you crave more food. But a minty fresh mouth can help you move on from those desires! Hopefully, this advice can help you avoid snacking without thinking more than by just telling yourself not to do it!
August 15, 2019
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