Why mindless eating is your worst diet nightmare

Lana Bandoim's picture

Are you aware of the impact that mindless eating has on your diet and health?

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If you have tried multiple diets and still cannot shed those extra pounds, then you probably feel frustrated and helpless. Unfortunately, there is an essential truth you need to hear: A diet is not going to save you. Instead, losing weight and keeping the weight off require a lifestyle of mindfulness.

The diet fallacy

The problem with diets is that they are unrealistic. It is hard to follow a strict diet and remember to open an app to make sure the menu item you are choosing does not have ingredients that are prohibited on your diet. You may be able to handle a diet for one or two weeks, but it is not sustainable over a longer period of time. Diets are not natural, but being mindful is normal.

Diets force you to think about what you are not eating instead of what you should be eating. This is a backward way of thinking and ultimately leads to frustration and bitterness. Instead of worrying about all of the things you are not eating, you should be listening to your body and mindfully eating healthy food at the right moments.

“Our bodies, give us cues for a reason. And, that’s because those cues are feedback,” health coach Delfina Bonilla-Lopez says. “They’re a language that give[s] us information, communicating when things are great, and when things are going really wrong.”

Bonilla-Lopez is talking about the impact candida overgrowth has on food cravings and digestive issues, but her statement can also apply to overeating. Your body tells you when it is full or hungry, and all you have to do is listen.

How to practice mindful eating

What does mindful eating look like, you may ask? The following techniques and tips will help guide you as you discover how to use mindful eating every day and at every meal.

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Do not fight hunger

“Normal eating involves trusting your body to tell you when it needs nourishment and when it doesn't. Normal eating is listening to those signals,” health fitness specialist Rebecca Scritchfield says.

Although standard diets tell you to suppress hunger signals, you should be eating healthy foods so that you are properly nourished and full. You should simultaneously respect a lack of hunger as a sign that your body is fine for the moment.

Eat a nutritious breakfast

If you study people who mindlessly eat throughout the day, you will see that most of them do not eat breakfast. Or, if they do eat breakfast, it is not very substantial. As a result, they end up feeling hungry throughout the day and snack on unhealthy food items. You want to make sure you are consuming a breakfast that has healthy proteins, fats and fiber-rich carbohydrates. Good options include eggs, oatmeal and Greek yogurt.

Make snacking inconvenient

The combination of readily available food and boredom often leads to mindless eating. This is something we all know from firsthand experience but is also a concept that research has proven.

According to a study conducted with Hershey’s Kisses placed around different areas of an office, individuals who have a bowl of candy on their desk eat an average of nine candies per day. Those who have a bowl of candy in their drawer eat six per day. Finally, those who have to walk to get to the bowl eat just four per day.

“When asked why they ended up eating less when the bowls were placed further away, the secretaries stated that the extra distance gave them the time to think twice about whether they really wanted the candy,” health coach Alina Petre explains. “Make this work for you by picking snacks that require some extra work, or by keeping less nutritious snack foods out of reach.”

Mindless eating is real and dangerous. Although dieting can help, you should focus less on what you are not eating and more on listening to your body and the cues it provides.

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