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Have you ever had a hard day, made your favorite treat for your “neighbors”, sat down in front of the tv with your favorite treat thinking you’ll just taste test them to make sure they are edible (ya know, just being a good neighbor), and the next thing you know your 20 minute show is over and you’ve eaten the whole pan of goodies?!! Shoot…where did all of that go?!! Ha! Pretty sure that happened to me last week, but with a milkshake. My husband wanted a treat, so we stopped by a local frozen custard shop. We decided to share an oreo milkshake (I will admit that I am a sucker for oreo milkshakes!). He must have been driving too slow, or maybe the milkshake was real small…pretty sure by the time we got where we were going, the milkshake was gone and I was trying to find the hole that was in the cup…I mean, where else would the milkshake have gone?! hahaha I definitely just kept taking bites because I was the one holding the cup! I am sure that we have all been culprits of mindless eating at one point or another. Whether it is at Costco taste testing all of the yummy samples on Saturday afternoons or eating an entire large popcorn at the movie theaters. Here are some tips that will help you avoid mindless eating and steer more towards mindful eating:

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  1. Be aware of how you are feeling when you are eating: Ask yourself why am I eating? Am I hungry? Angry? Bored? Sad? Happy? If you often find yourself being trapped in emotional eating, assess the situation and find out what sets you off.
  2. Avoid distracted eating: Just like distracted driving, distracted eating can also turn into a bad situation! Most people eat much more when they are eating while distracted. Enjoy your food! Turn off the tv, or stop doing homework, and really taste your food!
  3. Measure snacks into a bowl before you start eating: Try not to eat snacks right out of the bag. Serving sizes are usually a lot smaller than we think, and when we eat straight from the bag, we tend to eat much more than we would if we measure our snack out into individual serving sizes. This helps you become aware of what a serving size is and how much you are eating.
  4. Place candy and junk food out of sight: Out of sight, out of mind! If we place junk food items in the back of the pantry behind other items, we are less likely to want it and be tempted by it.
  5. Use smaller plates: This seems silly, but it honestly works! Portion sizes get larger as plates get larger! If you get smaller plates, you will put smaller portion sizes on your plate and most likely eat less. Many of us feel that we have to finish what is on our plates, so if we start off with less, we will probably eat less!
  6. Be okay with being satisfied and not stuffed: Learn how it feels to be satisfied after a meal. I know that I always feel much better if I stop when I am satisfied rather than being stuffed full after every meal.
  7. Fill half of your plate with fruits and veggies: Fruits and veggies are low in calories and high in nutrition. Our minds like volume…sometimes we are not satisfied with small portion sizes when we are used to bigger portions. If you fill half of your plate with fruits and veggies, you will still have the volume without all of the calories, and feel satisfied.
  8. Chew mint gum or brush your teeth after your meals: This will help eliminate the desire to snack or eat a sweet treat when you are still full.
  9. Get sleep! Studies have found that people who are sleep deprived tend to eat more calories than people who get enough sleep.
  10. Start now! Don’t wait until tomorrow to start eating healthy or making goals! Why do tomorrow what you can do today?!

What are some tips or tricks that help you avoid mindless eating?

Have a great day!

McKell

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