With all of us spending so much time at home, a common concern for many is that they are having a difficult time eating beyond their needs due to stress or boredom. Registered Dietitian and SlimFast Plan Consultant, Maryann Walsh shares some of her favorite tips to help “stick a fork” into mindless eating (pun intended!)
What is mindless eating? Mindless eating can generally be described as when you are consuming calories without paying attention to when you have had enough or when you are full. Mindless eating can also refer to eating foods because they are accessible at the moment, even if you aren’t actually hungry. Mindless eating usually results in overconsumption and if done over a prolonged period, can lead to weight gain. So how can we avoid falling into this trap?
Tip 1: Take a minute to journal or to think through why you are mindlessly eating.
Are you stressed?
Are you bored?
Do you need a quick mental break from work?
Try to find activities that make you feel good, help curb stress, entertain you or that provide a mental.
- Going for a walk
- Riding a bike
- Using a meditation app
- Playing with the dog
- Reading a few pages in a book
- Jumping rope
- Doing a 10-minute workout
- Working on a puzzle
- Take a power nap (don’t forget to set an alarm!)
*Remember to always check with your doctor prior to beginning any exercise routine.
Tip 2: Out of sight, out of mind!
Try to keep tempting foods and snacks in cupboards or the refrigerator rather than on the counter. It is much easier to mindlessly grab a cookie or a few pretzels if the plate or package is in plain sight.
Most baked goods freeze extremely well! Rather than displaying fresh baked goods on the counter and consuming them all after baking, try freezing some of the leftover batch for a later date.
If you find that simply having certain foods in the house causes you to overeat them, then consider taking a break from buying those particular foods or consider a lower calorie substitution!
Tip 3: Use a Tracking App or Pre-Plan your Menu!
Using a tracking app can be helpful because you can see how everything you eat and drink can add to your daily calorie consumption. If you have committed to tracking everything you are eating each day, then you will hopefully feel a nagging urge to track even those few bites of a brownie or few chips. Seeing the effects of your choices gives you the knowledge and power to make adjustments.
Pre-planning your menu, writing it out, and having it somewhere visible can help provide structure to your eating for the day and help serve as a reminder that a snack or meal is coming up soon. If you have a plan, you’re less likely to stray from it and can avoid those poor choices you would’ve made without a plan!
Tip 4: Be Realistic with Your Cravings!
If you are someone that always craves a treat after dinner, you can absolutely find a way to satisfy those cravings while staying on track with your health and wellness goals!
- Pre-packaged, portion-controlled treats like SlimFast Keto Fat Bombs are a delicious sweet indulgence to keep on hand!
- Use small cups versus a bowl and practice portion control if you are enjoying items like ice cream, chips, or popcorn.
Tip 5: Leave yourself love notes!
Write encouraging notes on a sticky pad or dry erase board to remind you to keep going and that you are doing great! It can be helpful to stick to the refrigerator for easy viewing if you find yourself looking for a snack out of stress or boredom.
A consultant of The SlimFast Plan, Maryann is a Registered Dietitian with Bachelor of Science degrees in Biological Sciences and Dietetics and a Master of Food and Nutrition. She has extensive experience working with clients of all ages and from all walks of life, helping them to achieve their wellness and weight-loss goals. Learn more about Maryann.