It can happen when you are serving out the kid’s tea, when you are making packed lunches, a slice of cheese leaps into your mouth, or you may be at work and every time you pass the biscuits you sneak one in.
What is mindless eating?
- It is when we eat without thinking or without even noticing. It’s when we pop food into our mouth that happens to be lying around, not because we are hungry.
- It’s not emotional eating or binging, it’s just eating without thought.
- Eating subconsciously can also happen when we are sitting in front of the TV having dinner or snacks. We are concentrating on what is happening on screen and not in our mouth or our stomach. Suddenly when we look down and we have eaten a large pizza for 2 all by our self or demolished a family size packet of peanut M&M’s!
- When we are eating out and our plate arrives and its loaded with food, some of us (a-hem…me) keep eating until the plate is cleared and not when we are full. We don’t listen to the signals telling us we are full and then we need to stop eating.
What happens if we Mindlessly eat?
- Over eating by a mere 200 calories could see us gain a stone or more a year. That’s half a cheese sandwich, a large handful of crisps, 20 Peanut M&M’s. If we over eat by 500 calories a day we could gain 1 lb per week, 12 lbs in 3 months, 3.5 stone a year. Frightening isn’t it?
- In order to lose 1 lb of fat each week, we need to have a calorie deficit of 500 a day or 3500 spread through out the week. If the calories deficit you are trying to create is being demolished by a little bit of this and a little bit of that, it will all quickly mount up and could be the reason you are not losing or continuing to slowly gain.
How can we control it?
- Make the decision to keep an ‘HONEST‘ food diary.
Set yourself the challenge of recording all that you eat for one week. Although you will only be accountable to yourself it should have an effect on your food choices. It will focus your mind, and may well put an end to mindless snacking.
- Plan your meals and snacks in advance.
Knowing that you have Mexican Chicken Soup for lunch or Banana and Peanut Butter Bars for an afternoon snack can stop us grazing on things we shouldn’t be.
- Eat your meals at a table.
During the week, try to eat your meals in the kitchen at a table away from the distractions of a screen. It is better for your digestion as well. Eating on the go can really pile the calories on as it doesn’t always register what you have eaten.
- Practice mindful eating.
This is the opposite of mindless eating! Eat your food slowly and enjoy every mouthful. Concentrate on the flavours in your food. If you have cooked it yourself, try and pick out all the ingredients you have added.
Dinner is over quickly enough without rushing it even more!
While we may not be able to say that we will never mindlessly eat again, we can try and limit the damage that can be caused by being more aware of little bites here and there.
Nobody wants to get fat by eating cod fish fingers!
For more inspiration of how to stay healthy this year, Read my Top 12 Tips!