A lot of people fall into the trap of mindless eating when things get busy and life gets hectic. Unfortunately, most of the time, food choices made under stress are not the healthiest. The stress hormone cortisol messes with our appetite and causes us to crave sugar.
Have you ever gone to take a last bite of something and looked down and realized it is all gone and you don’t remember eating it all? That’s mindless eating and is a detriment to a healthy eating plan.
Follow these recommendations to practice and cultivate mindfulness on how and what you eat:
- For a week, keep a food journal to record the food you eat, the situation (physical and social setting) and your stress level at that time. Notice your trigger, so you can look out for these circumstances in the future.
- Practice an alternative to “munching” when the situations noted above crops up in your life. Maybe it’s sitting down and drinking a cup of tea. Maybe it is taking a 15-minute walk to clear your head. Maybe it is finding a quiet place and practice breathing exercise for a few minutes.
- Make a rule of not eating in the car. Not only can this distraction lead to dangerous driving, eating in the car (especially under stressful situations) is not relaxing and doesn’t contribute to good digestion.
- Make a rule of not eating standing up or “on the run”. When you eat, try to sit down, focus on the food, and use utensils – this will bring attention to the food you are eating, and your brain would actually register that you have eaten.
- Practice mindful eating – take a deep breath, notice your environment, and savor the taste and the texture of the food.
- Eat slowly – when we are stressed out and in a rush, we just stuff food into our mouth without paying attention to our satiety. Your brain needs about 10 – 15 minute after you eat to register fullness so pause to avoid overeating.
- Avoid Extreme Hunger – When we get to the point of thinking we are ‘starving’ (which we’re not) we can bolt our meals without giving it a second thought. Pay attention to your body’s cues. If you feel hungry, start planning what you’re going to eat. If your stomach is growling, you have hunger pains, or you’re feeling lightheaded, you’ve let your hunger go too far.
Have you been guilty of any of the above? I know I was the worst offender of mindless eating before I realized what it was doing to my weight and health.
As a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, I am able help you and your family establish healthy eating habits. Be sure to contact me to book your complimentary 30 minute session, to discuss your health goals and see what programs I offer that can help you succeed. I offer in person and Skype consultations.