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Monday, November 26, 2012

Are You a Mindless Eater?

How to stop Mindless Eating.

Do you think you mindlessly eat? I bet there are many of you that think you don't. Yet most of actually do so and not even realize it. Perhaps you do but it's not at all that much of a concern to you in the grand scheme of your day and fit life. What if that eating is exactly what is holding you back from shedding those last few pounds so you can move beyond a plateau. What if that mindless eating is exactly what is sabotaging any weight loss at all?

I'll pretend for the sake of staying on topic that what you are in fact eating is healthy and clean. I'll keep focus on helping you determine what might be trigger times for mindless eating just for the simple gaining of self knowledge for future growth in your personal health.

  • While you are cooking- how many times did you taste test something? How many spoonfuls or bites did you take in eager anticipation for the food to be ready? If you really sit back and add up the calories you consume while cooking you really just amaze yourself. Of a healthy 300-500 calorie meal you might be eating an additional 100-300 while cooking. Do You?
  • While you Sitting on the Computer- We all lose time while on the computer. Whether you are a gamer or a social net- worker or your business is online much like myself it's easy for an hour to go by feeling like it was just 20minutes. Now ask yourself if you are eating during this time? How many handfuls of something did you eat when placed a bag of chips or even healthy snack in front of you?
  • While Watching Television- Exact same concept- losing track of time. How many of you can handle watching even just an hour of tv without food in your hand? Do you find the association?
  • While doing Study or Work at home- Where is the your desk? Are you forcing yourself to get up and walk into the other room to prepare a food? Are you keeping food in a drawer or in a drawer- easily accessible for entertainment and joy?
  • While in the car- No greater time to catch your breath and relax and most often we all want to associate Food with that feeling- so how often are you?
  • While Visiting with friends- It's custom, it's our society- we visit and eat! Ok, Fine- but how much? Are you planning it out and paying attention or does the conversation take over and before you both know you conquered through a pie or a bag of chips?
  • While out socializing in restaurants/bars- Exact same concept as Visiting with friends in each others homes- we lose focus and we mindlessly eat.
  • Reading
  • On Lunch Breaks or work breaks (how many of you feel like you eat to stay busy while on break?)
These are trigger 'places' . So what if you self discover here that you are in fact likely eating way more than you should be.  We can also quickly point out trigger times; stress, boredom, frustration, sadness, anger .......AT NIGHT ....and most often some of us think it's time for a reward for a hard days work! You have placed food into your reward system and therefore it's of great value to you.

Well first we can put the word "Mind" back into the equation. When we mindlessly eat we do so without thought. So now that you know that you are doing it; lets use our mind to fix it.  So how?

  • Plan ahead~ There is no greater measure of success to alter a negative behavior pattern like being pro-active and planning ahead. First we identified when you mindless ate so one option would be to remove food from the equation till are you able to learn self control. If you feel you can handle moderation you can certainly plan ahead with mini snacks to keep with you with that will be of moderation for you.  I'm not talking 100 calorie packs by Nabisco (hey don't shoot me I want you healthy!) I want you snacking on healthy food options, Greek yogurts, nuts, dried fruit, fresh fruit, veggies and a low fat dip and make a complex carb of some kind  or maybe even fresh pan popped popcorn.

  • You will determine before you meet a friend how much you will eat and when the time comes you will be in the mindful thought to follow through with your plan.

  • You will learn to be uncomfortable as the change takes place. No one says that breaking habits that made you feel good (but made you unhealthy or overweight) would be easy. It's gonna suck and so I ask that you find was to cope that work for you. Meditation, walk, pray, exercise, maybe get a hold of support network (come to my page, or go to our group page about weight loss and share a thought or feeling!)

  • Create "No Food Zones" - I know this may sound unrealistic for many but if you are visual person like me then you can place notes next to your work station or on your remote control next to your tv that say empowering messages that remind you that you are creating a new healthy habit and changing yourself for health and success. Remind yourself why you are on your journey and how much it means to you that YOU WIN THIS BATTLE NOT FOOD!

  • Chew Gum- Don't under estimate the power of a piece of gum. This trick really does help!

  • Fill Up on Fiber- Fueling up on High Fiber foods before you get to your mindless eating trigger spots can really help deter at the real pang of actual hunger (although c'mon most of are going to admit if we are eating mindlessly we are really probably NOT truly physically hungry! - do you know the difference?)

  • Fill Up on Protein- going to eat- grab your Protein- make a shake- eat a 4oz pc of chicken & veggies (less than 200-300 calories) yet very satisfying

  • Use this Opportunity to focus on Hydration - most often we are actually thirsty and not hungry

  • Close down the kitchen during certain trigger times (again we are going on fueling off of emotion and not true hunger) and may people will actually refuse to enter the kitchen at all after a certain time. If it's after the kids go to bed is your trigger time then you can before the kids go to bed eat a snack together in the kitchen in quiet as a family and then grab your water and close the kitchen down till breakfast! Kitchen Closed!

  • Take Food out of your Reward System. You do this by learning what rewards you can give yourself at the end of a long hard day that you will find comfort in. Surely Food is NOT the only reward you have. Certainly likely is the top of your Reward List "I did real good today so I'll have a bowl of ice-cream" which might lead to toppings and seconds (mindlessly) and 500 calories later you have now negated the 5 mile run you did this morning (calorie wise ;-) What will your new reward be? Hot bath, soothing music, a little extra sleep, a romantic swing on the porch with your husband? Maybe night time is a great time to reflect and give yourself the best reward possible- verbal praise. Self affirmations that you are Amazing! You are living a GREAT Life blessed Life!

  • Fuel up on God- Make Your Body a Temple through him. Fueling on Faith and not Food series has begun in my Blog please have a look. It's really possible to remove food from your addiction list. I believe in all my heart that fixing your body begins with you head and now I even further believes it also happens in your heart. Love Yourself as God Does ~ Reward Yourself as God does! With Love~ Counting Blessings and Remembering whats most important is the Victory in your day in all that you did! That my friends will build your self love!

I'm NOT telling you NOT to eat, I love food and it's good for us and our body's need energy. We need it to keep mental focus at work and we need it for Life. I ask that you plan ahead, eat in moderation and choose healthier options. Food Is the Enemy. Our Thinking (or lack there of can be!)


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