Have you ever sat down in front of the TV with a bag of chips that is full one minute, empty the next and wonder how they disappeared so fast?
How about stopping by your co-worker’s desk to grab some candy out of the candy jar – every single time you walk by?
What about continuing to go up to the buffet…just because the food is there?
I don’t know about you, but my answer to each question is “yes.”
These are just a few examples of mindless eating – which, believe it or not, happens much more often than we realize. According to a study released in 2007, we make over 200 food decisions every day and we’re unaware of making most of those decisions.
In other words, we’re on autopilot. It’s no surprise that this mindlessness leads to overeating and weight gain, just ask me.
There are a lot of factors that can contribute to mindless eating. We may reach for food when we’re bored, tired, angry, sad, etc. Sights and smells of food can also trigger mindless eating. Even multitasking while we’re eating – checking your phone, watching TV, driving – influences mindless eating.
The opposite of mindless eating is mindful eating. Instead of eating without thinking, when we’re being mindful, we eat with attention and intention. We listen to our bodies and eat when we’re hungry and stop before we’re full.
We sit at a table with no distractions and eat slowly, taking the time to notice the texture and flavor of our food and how it makes us feel. I’ll admit, I’ve been a mindless eater a lot longer than a mindful eater, no doubt about it.
Being mindful doesn’t come naturally for me. The good thing is that there are helpful articles that offer tips on how to get started. Keep in mind that this will be a gradual process because it takes time for something to become a habit. The key is making it a part of your healthy lifestyle.
Mindful eating is about focusing on how we eat, enjoying the food we eat and creating a more positive relationship with food.
You got this, and you can do it! We’re all in this together.
This Week O’Nealism:
“The difference between mindless and mindful eating is like the difference between flavorless and flavorful food.”
Stay Healthy My Friends