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mindful eating

5 Strategies for Beating Mindless Eating

Whether you’re at your computer chomping on a bag of pretzels or watching television shoveling spoonful after spoonful of ice cream into your mouth, mindless munching is one surefire way to pack on the pounds. In fact, just mindlessly eating 100 calories a day, the equivalent of a large apple or a palmful of almonds, can lead to gaining up to 10 pounds in a year.

To prevent this mindless eating weight gain, put into practice these five ways to beat unintentional extra calories.

1. Never get too hungry. The more powerful your stomach growls, the more likely you are to ravenously consume a surge of calories before your body and brain can register that you’ve had enough. Therefore, aim to eat every three to four hours with meals and snacks comprised of healthy carbs, good fats and a lean protein.

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Overeating Blamed on TV Background Noise

This isn’t the first time that someone has suggested that you not eat in front of the television. Generally the reasoning is that you will pay more attention to how much you are eating when you are not focused on your favorite show. The BBC is reporting recent research that suggests that the background noise of the television actually diminishes how much you taste the foods you are eating. The lead author on the study, Andy Woods, explained that they wanted to try to understand why airline food is notoriously bad. I had always figured it was a cost-cutting and logistics issue, but maybe not.

Experiment participants were asked to rate the overall flavor, sweetness, saltiness, and crunchiness of foods while blindfolded and wearing headphones. The headphones of the control group played no sound, while the experimental group heard white noise, like what you would hear on an airplane or with a fan nearby. The louder the white noise was, the less sweetness or saltiness the participants reported; however, they did report more crunchiness as noise increased.
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You Can Have Your Party Feast and Eat it Too

Josie Maurer is a freelance writer and founder of She lost over 40 pounds after the birth of her fourth child through sensible eating and exercise, yet she still maintains her love for large slices of cake.

Watch out for that party food! Are you hungry for dining out? When it’s time to enjoy a happy food extravaganza, it can be hard to stay on course with healthy eating. Restaurants do not typically post nutrition numbers on their menus, and dinner parties are a haven for deliciousĀ hors d’oeuvres as the thirsty cocktails flow. But how can you enjoy the eating bliss from an occasional night out without that bloated, guilty feeling as try to burn the fat?

Healthy eating plays a major role in your weight loss results. Moderation is important, too, but you should also give yourself some wiggle room to delight in all kinds of delicacies, especially given the opportunity to enjoy a special eating occasion. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shares this same philosophy. In a January 2009 article published on the CDC website, they state: “Healthy eating is all about balance. You can enjoy your favorite foods even if they are high in calories, fat or added sugars. The key is eating them only once in a while and balance them out with healthier foods and more physical activity.”

You can savor the tasty moments of a food event and still achieve your fitness goals. Eating like a bird is not required. So how do you do it?
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Yoga for Weight Loss

Most people begin a yoga practice to capitalize on the stress-reducing benefits of this ancient mind-body discipline. But one of the little known gems about yoga is its ability to support weight loss.

While it may be hard to believe that a few stretches and downward dogs can actually torch calories, yoga’s weight loss effects have much more to do with the mindfulness that yoga engenders and less to do with the actual asanas, or postures. That is not to say that yoga asanas don’t produce a calorie burn or stimulate muscle growth, which they do. Both of these factors significantly contribute to weight loss by helping your body expend more calories than you consume and developing muscle tissue burns, which burnsĀ more calories than fat tissue.

Here is what you need to know about yoga and weight loss.

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Michelle May Answers “Am I Hungry?” In Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat

The National Nutrition Month interview series continues. I’m so excited about this interview! Everyone needs to listen to it. If you have ever dieted, felt uncontrollable eating or binging, think you are an emotional eater, or just have “food rules” you will benefit from hearing what Michelle May, MD, author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat, has to say about dieting and weight management – and it’s not “count your calories and eat less.”

She should know about weight management, she has struggled with her own weight most of her life. She gets it. Not only that, but the book offers realistic and practical advice and encouragement for changing the way you think about eating and dieting. If you’re ready to stop the cycle of eating and repenting for your “food sins,” you will love what this book has to offer.

Listen now to our conversation to get a taste for the whole “Am I hungry?” approach. Find out how you may be sabotaging reaching your healthy weight by dieting and ignoring your body’s own hunger and fullness signs.

Let me know what you think about it in the comments section. One reader will be chosen to receive a copy of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat on April 9, 2010.

Michelle offers an “eating cycle” quiz on her website as well, which is well worth your time. Enjoy the conversation!