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Want To Stop Eating Mindlessly? 5 Tips For You

Many of us eat mindlessly, which can make you consume more calories than you need, and thus leading to weight gain

Written by: Shubhangi ShahPublished at: Nov 21,2021
Updated at: Nov 21,2021

After toiling hard for the entire week, the weekend is finally here. That Friday evening, that calming feeling, you decide to make the most out of it. So, you get into the most comfortable clothing, pick a blanket, switch on Netflix, and get yourself a bowl of ice cream, you deserve it, you think. But one bowl down, you are still not satisfied, and you eat a bag of chips, and then a slice of pizza, while your eyes are glued to the screen the whole time. It’s only after you switch off the screen that you realise the amount of food you just ate. Or, imagine a different scenario, it’s the night before your exam. You are preparing hard, but are stressed out as well. So, you turn to food, and eat a stomachful and some more, not because you’re hungry, but because you want to get your mind off the stress around the exam. These scenarios might be different, however, they have one thing in common, and that is food, most specifically mindless eating.

You eat mindlessly when you are unaware of how much and at times what you are eating. And it has negative health implications. You eat beyond your standard calorie requirement, which leads to weight gain. And we all know that being overweight or obese can put you at risk of myriad health issues, from diabetes and high blood pressure to cardiovascular diseases and even several mental health issues. Hence, it’s a no-brainer that you must stop mindless eating. But, it is easier said than done. To do this you need a lot of determination and some helpful tips that might do the trick.

Tips On How To Stop Mindless Eating

(Photo Credit: Freepik)

Now that you have decided to stop that habit of mindless eating and be more mindful about this activity that is indispensable to your survival, here are some tips that might help:

1# Eat Slowly

One of the reasons that can lead to mindless eating is when you are rushed up, trying to get all that work done. Slowing down in this situation can not only prevent you from eating mindlessly, but it will also allow you to relax and reflect. Also, slow-eaters tend to eat less. This is because it takes about 20 minutes to release the chemicals that tell your brain that you are full. If you eat fast, you eat more as you do not let that signal of satiety reach your brain. But when you eat slowly, not only do you tend to eat less, but you also enjoy your food more. Next time, if you decide to eat slowly, here are some tips that might help:

  • Instead of letting your mind wander, bring your focus to your plate, the colour, texture, and flavours of the food you are eating.
  • Chew your food more times.
  • Create some friction, like eating with the non-dominant hand, or using a knife and fork if possible. Since you might struggle with these, it will automatically slow you down.

2# Remove Distraction

(Photo Credit: Freepik)

Most of us eat in front of a screen. Many try to multitask, eating while getting some errands done. Sure, you might feel you are saving some time, but at what cost? In both these scenarios, you indulge in mindless eating, thus eating more than what you need, and in some cases making unhealthy food choices, both of which have a detrimental impact on your health. 

Also read: 5 Ways You Can Practise Mindfulness

3# Eat Using A Smaller Plate

Many people swear by the Japanese style of eating. Not only do they generally eat sitting on the floor, but they also use smaller plates and bowls than the normal size. Studies have shown that people finish about 92% of the food they have on their plates. Hence, reducing the size of your plate might automatically reduce some of the portion sizes, and you might not even notice that. The low obesity levels in Japan might have something to do with that as well.

4# Be Mindful While Shopping

All of us buy a significant amount of packaged food items. Both what you buy and the packet size can make a huge difference. Hence, next time you go shopping, be mindful of what you are buying. Try to choose healthier alternatives. For example, instead of getting those bags of chips, try to replace them with a pack of nuts. Or instead of chocolates, replace them with dates. And if you are going to get yourself some chips anyway, pay attention to the size. Go for the smaller size instead of the larger one. This way, you will be able to save yourself from those extra and empty calories.

Also read: Why Eating Mindfully Is Important for Health. What Happens When You Don't

5# Try To Cut Down On Some Foods

When you are stressed, what food items do you go for? Is it a bowl of fruit, or a bowl of ice cream? Or, when you want to reward yourself for a job well done, what foods do you prefer -- pizza or a bowl of salad? In scenarios that involve mindless eating, you generally go for unhealthy items. Hence, if you stay away from them in the first place, you will not only save yourself from putting these into your system but also stop yourself from that mindless eating.

So, next time when your mind wanders while eating, remember these tips and try to inculcate in your daily routine. Not only will these prevent mindless eating, but also prevent you from eating those extra calories, which might have a negative impact on your health in the long run. 

Photo Credit: Freepik

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