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Week 8

Mindful Eating

What is mindLESS eating and why is it a problem?

Mindless eating is eating without awareness of what and how much is being eaten. It is putting food in our mouths for reasons other than hunger, without paying attention to levels of hunger or fullness.

What causes us to eat mindlessly? Here are some common scenarios…

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Week 8

Mindful Eating

What is mindLESS eating and why is it a problem?

Mindless eating is eating without awareness of what and how much is being eaten. It is putting food in our mouths for reasons other than hunger, without paying attention to levels of hunger or fullness.

What causes us to eat mindlessly? Here are some common scenarios…

What are your challenges with mindless eating?

Feel free to add in your own personal challenges using the blank circles in the map above.

How can I become more mindful of what I am eating?

Research has shown that making small changes to our daily habits, that increase our awareness of what we are eating, can directly lead to weight loss. Here are some solutions that can help increase your awareness, and avoid mindless eating.

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

• Only eat in the kitchen/dining room and at the table.
• Serve portions to a plate or container – don’t eat out of the bag, box, carton, etc.
• Use smaller plates and taller glasses.
• Don’t buy the high calorie/processed foods – if they are in your home keep them out of sight.
• Make the time to eat slowly, and without multitasking or electronics -TV, phone, etc.
• Do not stockpile – avoid buying in bulk.
• Maximize volume/minimize calories by filling half your plate with veggies and drinking water.
• STOP! Ask yourself if you are truly hungry or if one of the culprits above is at play.
• Plan your meals and snacks each day -have healthy paired snacks prepped and ready.
• Practice ways to say no, and don’t be afraid to throw food out – don’t allow yourself to consume it to “save” it from the trash!

Use the personalized mindful eating plan worksheet found here.

How have you overcome mindless eating in the past and/or how could you improve on this going forward?
TROUBLESHOOTING SPECIFIC EATING SITUATIONS
Don’t skip meals trying to “bank” calories for later- this tends to backfire and can lead to more overeating than if you had not skipped meals.

Indulge intentionally – decide ahead of time which one or two items are truly your favorite, and truly enjoy them. This will help you feel good (and not deprived) about saying no to other items.

Take a moment to remember why you want to be healthy, and what your goals are. Stay focused on that as you approach the food table or the menu.

Eat a protein and fiber rich breakfast.

Re-adjust the portion sizes, not necessarily the recipe – it’s better/more satisfying to have a small portion of something with real ingredients rather than fat/sugar free items that don’t satisfy/make you want more.

Keep a food journal – knowing you will need to write it down often helps to keep choices in check.

Eat a healthy paired snack sometime beforehand, so you do not arrive hungry.

Wait it out – it takes 20 minutes for the satiety hormones to kick in and your brain to register that you are no longer hungry/are full. Remove yourself from the food area, drink some water and wait 10-20 minutes before eating any more.

At Parties
• Don’t linger near the food table, intentionally move away and focus on socializing.
• Choose the smallest plates or serving dishes.

Eat the veggies first and pile them on your plate. These will help you feel full and are difficult to overeat.

Focus on the positives – tell yourself about the healthy food you are giving yourself rather than focusing on the (unhealthy) food you are taking away.

Stop the idea of food as reward – i.e “it’s been a stressful week, I deserve this cake, sundae, supersize nacho platter, etc…”

Drink lots of water – staying hydrated can help curb hunger and increase satiety.

Get over the need to finish your plate – throw it out if you are full/don’t want it. Don’t continue eating something that isn’t what you wanted, or “worth it”.

Practice being mindful (aware) about your hunger level. Notice if you are truly hungry, or full. Stop eating when you are 80% full.

At restaurants
• Read the menu online before you go, plan what you’ll get.
• Refuse the bread and/or chip basket. Ask the server to not bring it in the first place.
• Order unapologetically, don’t be afraid to make healthier swaps – you are paying for this!
• Plan to take half your meal home to have for lunch the next day.
• Eat the veggies/salad first and drink water throughout the meal.
• Keep your hands occupied holding a glass of sparkling seltzer.
• Avoid sugary drinks and creamy sauces/dressings.
• Redefine value, value fresh, high quality ingredients and flavor over large portions.

However the event goes, get back on track with your healthy eating habits right away, starting with breakfast (don’t skip it), drink plenty of water and get in some exercise.

Coming Up WEEK 9 – Exercise Intensity & Interval Training
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