Mindful Eating is about being conscious of why you are eating and what is going on inside of you. It is the whole picture of how and why you eat
and less about what you actually eat.
Most of you are Mindless eaters though! You grab food without much thought, do not remember what or why you ate, and wonder why you are gaining weight! Most of you eat whatever you want every day without planning, thinking, or feeling! Common sense would tell you that you might need to become a more mindful eater rather than just mindlessly eating!
There are starting to be new diet books written about being Mindful Eaters and Eating Mindfully! At first I thought, Wow, this is it! They get it! The more I think about Mindful Eating though, I just get tired! Is it really possible to be on top of life like that? Can a person really be on top of their mind, body, feelings and thoughts all of the time, when overeating by only 100 calories per day can add up to 10 pounds of weight gain a year? There is so much room for error in mindful eating! Do we mindlessly eat which seems random, or mindfully eat which involves being so in touch with you, or is there another way to practice healthy eating?
Mindless Eating may seem random, but if you fill out a food journal for a few days, you will begin to see that it is not so random. You will see distinct patterns of eating. Maybe you are skipping breakfast, and hunger is extreme from lunch on! Maybe you hit the break room machines at 3 p.m. every day! Maybe you eat 1000's of calories while you fix dinner! Maybe you go to the movies once a week and eat a boatload of buttered popcorn!
There are 1000's of unhealthy diet habits that cause overeating. Some of you have more food habits that need changing than others! Lifestyle Solutions is not about changing your entire life! That is not doable! It is about making simple lasting changes slowly! This is not mindless eating or mindful eating, but simply changing your eating habits!
I would encourage each of you to pick three habits at a time to change. Work on those habits faithfully! When you have mastered one, add a new one! It is not rocket science! You are different from every other person on this earth, so a set diet will not necessarily work on your areas of difficulty! *****
Here are a few really easy eating habits to change that can help you to lose weight without really trying! If you make these changes I can almost guarantee that you will lose weight! They are habits that almost everyone does not practice! Ready?
- Downsize your dinnerware! If you eat off of a 10 inch plate versus a 12 inch plate, you will eat less! You brain needs to see a full plate and will be satisfied with less. The same amount of food that fills a 10 inch plate looks like an appetizer on a 12 inch plate and your brain says, I have been deprived, and you will fill your plate with more food. A 10 inch plate actually holds 50% less food! A great place to find 10 inch plates is at an antique store. Plates actually used to all be that size. Our ancestors actually ate less than we do now!
- Do not purchase anymore processed junk food. Throw it away and do not bring it into your home! Stop setting yourself up for failure. If you are trying to eat healthy, but keep your favorite Costco size bag of tortilla chips in the cupboard, you might have a problem! It is easier to pass the chips at Costco than your cupboard all night long, when you had a hard day! Same goes for ice cream, hidden chocolate stashes, cookies & You get it!
- Do not put your serving dishes on the table or you will eat more! This is such a simple habit to correct. In our house, I serve everyone's plate, and then put the leftovers away in containers for lunches the next day. I always have extra salad though. When someone wants seconds I say, Well, I put the extra up for your lunch tomorrow and if you want to eat more now, you are going to have a skimpy lunch. My family loves leftover lunches and hates sandwiches, so they eat another salad serving! This is a habit everyone should adopt. If you leave the food on the table, you will eat more! Stop it!
- Use the half plate rule always! You know it! Half of your plate fruits and veggies (heavy on the veggies), one quarter each of a healthy grain and lean protein! Really work on getting the grains under control! This eating habit will revolutionize your life!
There are so many healthy diet habits that you can add to your repertoire! As you become more cognizant of your personal habits, you can add lifestyle solutions that work for you, that do not involve mindful eating and being in touch with your mind, body, feelings and thoughts all of the time! That is just too much work!