How often do you find yourself reaching for food without actually being hungry? Have you ever started lunch while working in front of a computer screen, only to find that you've eaten all of your food the next time you regain awareness of your surroundings? What happens to the movie theater popcorn sometime between sitting down in your seat and the beginning of the movie? You reach in the bucket, and it's all gone!

If any of the have happened to you, you have eaten mindlessly. Don't worry, it happens to just about everyone. We eat mindlessly around distractions, by scarfing foods down too fast, and eating without hunger. It's no surprise that that mindless eating can contribute to weight gain!

How do you eat mindfully?

  • Prepare your food, enjoying the smells of the foods as you make them. 
  • Sit down, without distractions, and eat with awareness of what's in front of you.
  • Appreciate your food!
  • Start with smaller portions. If you want more, get up and give yourself another serving. 
  • Take at least twenty minutes to eat a meal. It takes about that long for us to realize we're full, so we avoid stuffing yourselves before we realize we're full by taking our time.
  • Chew! Try 20 chews per bite, or until your food is oatmeal consistency. (Bonus: this helps digestion)
  • Understand your body. Know when you're hungry. Know when you're full. Know when you're bored. Know when you're eating because of an emotional cause. 
  • Thinking about snacking? Take ten minutes and find another activity, just to make sure you're not bored. 
  • Drink some water; you might just be thirsty!

Why bother? Many studies have shown the benefits of mindful eating in weight loss. It helps cut back on emotional and boredom eating. Further benefits include decreases in depression, stress, and inflammation!

Try it for a week, and document your results! 

Mindful Eating

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