Do you ever find yourself standing in front of the fridge, looking through what’s inside without even thinking? That’s your brain telling you to eat mindlessly.
Mindless eating definition: Mindless eating is an unconscious reaction your brain has when you are feeling bored, over-stressed, or too comfortable. You may have experienced this when you crave an unhealthy snack even when you’re not hungry or when you find yourself eating something you don’t even like. You may feel like you have to eat. At the end of the day, mindless eating can result in gaining a considerable amount of weight.
All of this might seem overwhelming to deal with, but don’t worry! You’re not alone, and it’s not the end of the world! You can train your brain and take back control to stop mindless eating!
How to distract yourself from eating?
The psychology of eating is a fascinating thing since plenty of people find themselves snacking mindlessly throughout the day. You might not even realize that a whole meal has ended up in your stomach. Here are some suggestions to steer yourself clear of unintentional habits:
Always stay hydrated – water is vital for dealing with mindless eating. It’s one of the best pieces of advice you can give for eating smaller portions and consciously. Make sure to take a bottle of water with you wherever you go. Our minds can sometimes trick us into thinking we are feeling hungry when in reality, we are only thirsty.
Availability of food – if you want to cut down on high-sugar snacks that make you feel bloated and keep you up at night, then it’s best not to have them around the house. Minimize the temptation to eat by distracting yourself and stocking up with healthy foods.
Snack in front of the TV – people mostly snack when watching TV. So if you want to reduce snacking, you can try to either cut down on your TV time or replace the unhealthy snacks with a healthy option. For example, carrots and hummus are the perfect combos!
Visual reminders – this is a great way to distract yourself! Make sure you fill your house with visual reminders to help you control your portions – for example, smaller plates and glasses. Also, when going to the supermarket, try buying single-serving foods. You can even decorate your goals up on the fridge door so that you can remind yourself of what you want to achieve every time you walk by.
How to stop mindless eating?
If you feel trapped in the cycle of eating mindlessly, keep telling yourself that you can always break a bad habit with determination and remind yourself of the harms of mindless eating. Even though it may take some effort, you can take a few steps to make yourself aware of your surroundings and influence your psychology of eating. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered! Here are a few tips on how you can break the vicious cycle of mindless eating:
Try to eat slower – one of the essential aspects of mindfulness is being aware of your surroundings and nutrition. The next time you have some food in front of you on the table, try to savor every bite. Eat slowly, and you will immediately feel the difference.
Remove the emotional habit by focusing on emotions – the key to fully understanding the psychology of eating is to delve deep into your own psychology, including your emotional state! Once you realize that your emotions might be part of the reason for your mindless eating habits, you can start focusing on them to manage your emotional eating habits.
Track/journal your way to mindfulness – keeping a journal to track your food intake is an excellent solution for quitting mindless eating. Write about the foods you eat, how many times you eat in a day, the foods you prepare for yourself, and how the food makes you feel (during and after eating). This is a perfect way to set your own pace, listen to yourself, and take charge.
Viewing food as a reward is tricky, but if you can, try to change your overall psychology of eating by not viewing the foods you eat as a reward. You may have been given treats and snacks by your parents in exchange for good deeds when growing up. This may have unconsciously ingrained in your brain the idea that every time you complete a task, a treat is in order. This is incorrect – your mind is the one that is expecting the treatment, not your body. Why not try to get rid of that habit once and for all?
How to not mindlessly eat?
Occasionally, you may find yourself having a snack or two, even if you aren’t actually hungry. It’s okay if it happens every once in a while! However, mindless eating is entirely different from having a few snacks here or there – it is an ongoing and continuing issue. Considering this, the best advice we can share with you is that it is important to replace any bad habits you have with new ones consciously. Try actively engaging in your life and your choices, and you will soon realize that the best way to prevent yourself from mindless eating is to savor every bit of the food you eat and control your portion sizes.
Choose healthy and natural options when it comes to food! You might even consider switching to a plant-based diet to overcome your mindless eating habits. And listen to your body. Just think of mindless eating as another bump in the road you have to get over.
You can also take a lot at our Mindful Eating Guide to learn more.
And let us know if you tried any of the tips we’ve given here! Do you have any experiences with overcoming mindless eating? How did you deal with it? Let us know in the comment section below!
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