I have come to the sad revelation that I have become a mindless eater. This discovery came late one night when I realized that every single thing I put in my mouth that day was done haphazardly while standing. Picking at the leftovers from my children’s plate, noshing on the roasted vegetables each time I walked by the stove and grabbing a few cookies while the boys ate dessert. To be fair, I spend half my day feeding 3 hungry boys, which doesn’t make much time for a relaxing meal. However, this is an excuse that I can no longer justify. Breaking this habit is proving to be much more challenging than I anticipated. My new “rule” is to no longer put anything in my mouth while standing and no eating in front of the computer. I started this morning at breakfast; following this self imposed rule proved to be challenging and I constantly had to stop myself from mindlessly putting something in my mouth while I hurriedly fed the boys.
Hopefully a few “mindful eating” tips will help me in my new goal:
- Avoid multitasking while I am eating, stop all activity and just take a quiet moment to eat.
- Shift out of autopilot eating. Just because it is “time” to eat or food is available doesn’t actually mean I have to eat. Thinking about whether or not I am actually hungry makes a big difference in whether or not I will choose to actually eat.
- Stay hydrated. I often realize halfway through my day that I haven’t had very much water to drink.
- Use bowls, plates, etc. A surefire way to overeat is to eat directly out of the bag or box.
While many of these tips sound like common sense, even for nutrition professional like myself, it is always good to have reminders.