Unfortunately, it can be easy to overeat. Maybe you are not educated on proper portion sizes. Or you had a bad day and eating feels that hole in your chest. It could be a coping mechanism, an outlet, or any number of things. But there is one common factor that can lead you to mindlessly overeat.
Common Culprit of Mindless Eating
If you are one of many individuals eating and staring at their phones and televisions, you need to put that electronic down. It is causing you to zone out (like a zombie) and fail to pay attention to what and how much you are eating (braaiiinnnss). Instead of doing this, engage with your family in a conversation over dinner. No surprise here, but research has also shown that families who eat dinner together are healthier; as they’re probably eating more slowly and consciously rather than guzzling down bites between commercial breaks. A bonus perk is that you are giving your eyes a rest from the blue light emitted by your smartphone or other electronic devices that may lead to macular degeneration.
Other Ways to STOP Overeating
Building conversation over dinner is a great way to slow down your eating. However, if you live alone you may not be able to do this. What about when you eat lunch? Or breakfast? Here are a few other ways you can practice mindful eating.
Know Your Hunger Level
Before a meal, ask yourself how hungry you are on a scale of 1 to 10. Level one being starving and 10 being so full you couldn’t eat a thing. Once you have chosen a number, select how much food you load up on your plate to complement where you fall on the scale. If you were an 8, you wouldn’t fill your plate to its brim, and if you were a 2, you’d want to be more conscious of when the satiety cues start to hit before jumping into a second helping.
Assemble Your Plate in the Kitchen
Out of sight, out of mind. You should be aware of the nutrients of the food your putting on your plate, choosing vegetables, one grain, and one protein. Try to make it colorful. Then, leave the food behind in the kitchen so it’s not seducing you into seconds (or thirds) throughout the meal. To promote mindful noshing even further, sit down to a carefully set place at the table, as the thought that goes into laying out a place mat and silverware signals it’s time to slow down.
Take five deep breaths before eating, observing all of your surroundings, taking the time to enjoy the appearance of your food and allowing your meal to appeal to your senses—its appearance, smell and texture—and be sure to chew each bite slowly to truly savor the flavor and appreciate it, your company and conversation.
Research agrees: One study on mindful eating found that all participants who participated in a mindful eating program lost weight, and had a reduction in c-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation and stress). One of the program’s components was emphasizing mediation with eating, to enable participants to individually examine their hunger and satiety cues.
Love Ya’ll A Latte,
Faith Ellis is the creator and writer for Ladies, Lattes, and Lifting. She aspires to help women on their fitness and health journey and provide them with real and safe ways to reach their weight loss goals. In her free time, Faith enjoys writing fantasy novels, meal prepping, and spending time with her husband and two furbabies in their home in North Carolina.