3 Tips for Conquering Mindless Eating

How many of us have sat down in front of the TV, bag of snacks in hand, and before we realize it, finished the entire bag? Do you ever find yourself watching TV after dinner and eating still more food, even though the last thing you feel is hunger? Do you snack out of boredom or absent-mindedly stuff copious amounts of food in your mouth while out with friends? Here are a few tips to help you recognize mindless eating and kick the habit.

1) Do not eat out of the bag, box or carton.

Don’t take the whole bag of chips to the couch with you. Instead, place a handful into a small bowl. Then, close the bag and put it away. Walk away with your small bowl. If you return for seconds, it will at least be a partially conscious decision.

2) Do not eat in front of the TV.

When you eat while your attention is diverted (TV, computer, smart phone) you end up looking down and finding that the box of cookies you thought you just sat down with is completely empty! This can be referred to as the empty bag syndrome. You’ve consumed 1,000 calories of cookies without even noticing (or particularly enjoying them either).

3) Do not keep ‘weakness’ food around the house.

Avoid having a stash of weakness foods lying in your pantry, quietly awaiting your next mindless snack attack. If it happens that you do slip into mindless mode—we all do on occasion—you can reach for things like low-fat popcorn, vegetables, fruit or something else on the healthy side. Think about the foods you are going to keep in the house before hand. If are about to eat something mindlessly, by definition, you are not going to be paying much attention to what it is. Why not have it be stuff that will not make you regretful?

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