You’ve come to the end of another long day, and finally find yourself with a few moments to sit on the couch and relax with your favorite show. What a great time for that special snack you’ve been saving up for, a scoop of ice cream, a snack bag of popcorn, an apple. You take a bite, and yes, it was worth the wait. But you missed what just happened on your program, so your attention turns back to the action. And suddenly, that snack has disappeared! Where did it go? Why weren’t those last bites as satisfying as the first? The answer is actually pretty simple: you weren’t paying attention.
Mindless eating is the culprit for many a disappearing meal or snack, and can make a goal like weight loss challenging. When we don’t pay attention to the experience of eating, it’s easy to forget that we have eaten at all. It reduces our satisfaction in even our favorite foods, and leaves us craving more. If this sounds familiar, practicing mindful eating may help! Mindful eating teaches us to better acknowledge every aspect of eating, from how the food smells & tastes, to how it affects our levels of hunger or satiety afterwards. It can also help us identify what triggers our desire to eat, such as fatigue, anxiety, or excitement. In a nutshell, it helps us enjoy the act of eating more, and feel a better sense of control over our diets.
This may seem complicated, but it doesn’t have to be! To keep your favorite foods from disappearing, try these simple tips to become more mindful. Rather than eating meals or snacks in the company of a television, computer, or book, set yourself a nice quiet place at the table and eat without distractions. Put your utensils down between bites, chew and swallow each mouthful before jumping ahead to your next bite. Lastly, make sure to portion out your food on plates or bowls, rather than eating straight from the container. Not only do we appreciate our food less when we can’t see it, but it’s also easy to lose track of how much we have eaten. For more tips, speak with your Nutrition Specialist today!