By Abra Pappa for NutritiousAmerica.com
Have you ever sat in front of the TV with a full pint of ice cream and before you know it your spoon is scraping the bottom of the container, yet you have no memory of tasting beyond the first five bites? Or, how about that full bowl of popcorn that you were just going to have a few nibbles of, why is there nothing but salt and butter residue on the bottom of the bowl? How did it happen? How did you go from knowingly consuming a few bites to unknowingly finishing the entire thing? This, my friends, is mindless eating. Mindless eating is one of the biggest dietary pitfalls that keeps you trapped in an unhealthy relationship with food and your body.
Mindless eating happens for a variety of reasons, from eating out of boredom to eating out of sadness. The eating functions to block an uncomfortable emotion and as its name suggests it happens without any awareness at all, it is of course, mind-less.
Mindless eating is best addressed with a good healthy dose of mindfulness. Bringing a sense of mindfulness to all instances of eating can literally stop the compulsion in its tracks. Geneen Roth, New York Times Bestselling author and weight loss guru, says it best, “Awareness and compulsion cannot coexist.” As we begin to tap into awareness, or mindfulness, eating compulsion can begin to subside.
As it turns out, tapping into mindfulness can be as simple as the ‘ol switch-a-roo. (more…)
I love the heat of summer, so although there is much to love about fall – football, cider, pumpkins, boots, etc. – I cannot say I look forward to fall. I certainly relish it once it arrives though, because fall also brings tailgating, Halloween candy, Thanksgiving feasts, and the promise of Christmas parties. It can be a dangerous season for dieting, especially combined with more inclement weather which tempts us to stay inside and inactive. At the advent of the autumn season, I encourage you to prepare your home to help you meet your weight loss goals throughout the cooler months when you will likely be spending more time inside.
Kitchen: Clean out the pantry and fridge, eliminating temptations. Place the healthiest options within sight and easy reach. Take the fruit out of the crisper and put it on the top shelf or on the counter. Make it easy to grab smaller plates, bowls, and flatware. According to Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think by Brian Wansink, when we choose a 12-inch plate over a 10-inch plate we are likely to eat up to 22 percent more, we eat up to 14 percent more using a tablespoon instead of a teaspoon, and we will fill a shorter, wider cup 30 percent more than a taller, thinner cup.
Rebecca Wilson practices cognitive & mindfulness-based therapies and researches health psychology and behavior change. Her website, habitspark.com, focuses on how to use positive habits to create healthy and happy lifestyles.
First of all, what exactly is a habit? A habit is a behavior that you do so regularly that it becomes almost automatic. Although many habits are good, like brushing your teeth, some habits are devastating to a healthy lifestyle and weight control. Here are the 3 worst habits and how to break them:
Bad Habit #1: Eating mindlessly. Eating on the run, eating without paying attention to your hunger signals, and eating to escape painful feelings.
Break It: Replace eating mindlessly with eating mindfully. Eat at a dining table and make sure you aren’t doing anything else while you are eating. Before you start eating, notice your hunger level. As you eat, pay attention to your senses: the taste of the food, the feel of it, the smell, and how it looks.
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.
As you might suspect, if children play videos games to excess, they may be more apt to being overweight. The logical conclusion would be that it’s because they are sitting on their keesters and not outside breaking a sweat in the front yard with their friends.
While that might be true to some extent, the focus of new research is on what they put in their mouth while they are in the midst of their video game playing. According to new research, adolescent boys will eat more when they are playing video games, even if they aren’t hungry- the definition of mindless eating.
The study, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, makes a direct link between kids’ gaming habits and overeating.
Lead researcher Dr. Jean-Philippe Chaput of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute in Ottawa, Canada and his colleagues had 22 normal-weight teenage boys play video games for an hour. They also had some kids just sit for an hour. In each situation, they watched the children eat their lunch. (more…)