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Ask the Expert: Mindless Eating

Q: I notice that a lot of times when I snack while doing something like watching TV, reading a book or driving – without even thinking about it – I’ll have eaten more than I wanted to (sometimes it’s a sleeve of cookies or even an entire bag of chips).  How can I avoid doing this?

 

Beth LeermakersA: Beth Leermakers, Wellness Counselor

It sounds like your mindlessly eating, which is actually quite common.  What we encourage our Guests to do is practice mindful eating.  When you don’t pay attention to what you’re eating, you may not enjoy (or even taste!) your food, and you may wind up eating much more than you had planned.  Eating mindfully—really focusing on what you’re eating–is a good way to savor your food and feel satisfied after eating less food.  Studies have shown that the first four bites of a food are the most satisfying.  Mindful eating involves slowing down and noticing what the food looks, smells, and tastes like:

 

–  Use your non-dominant hand

–  Look carefully at your food

–  Note the food’s texture, color, and shape

–  Pay attention to any thoughts you’re having about this particular food or food in general

–  Smell the food

–  Put the food in your mouth and notice how it feels/tastes before you begin chewing

–  Chew your food slowly, really experiencing the taste

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