30 Day Fitness Experiment

What can you do for your body in 30 days?

What Are You Eating? No, Really.

Meet the Food You Eat
Image by Mark Wubben via Flickr

Day Twelve: What can help you to steer clear of mindless eating?

First of all, what is mindless eating? Well, mindless in this case is the opposite of mindful, which according to the Oxford American dictionary conveniently installed on my Mac, means “conscious or aware of something.” Have you ever been so engrossed in a movie or game and you suddenly look down and think, “Hey, where did all my popcorn/peanuts/Dodger Dog go?” Assuming that it was not eaten by your dog, friend, child, or significant other, you’ve probably been a victim of mindless eating. If all you have is one serving in the first place, all you’ve missed out on is the joy of savoring tasty food. (Which is a lovely thing in itself.) But has it ever happened to you when you have an entire family-size bag of tortilla chips in front of you? Or a box of donuts? Hopefully you haven’t consumed the entire package on your own, but still. You may have eaten way more than you intended to.

So, let’s take the obvious things first:
1. Think about what you choose to eat and why. Don’t just grab whatever’s handy.
2. Take out one portion and put the rest away. When you’re first starting out, it helps to actually weigh or measure out one serving. You may be surprised at what it actually looks like.
3. Eat at a time and place with few distractions. Take time to taste and enjoy each bite.
4. Even if there is still food on your plate, stop eating when you feel eight tenths (80%) full.

A few more tips:
We do tend to grab and eat whatever is convenient, so make healthy foods (in healthy portion sizes) convenient. At my house, we like to prep our week’s food on the weekends. We pre-chop vegetables so that weeknight cooking will not be such a chore. Leftovers: We take out portions of whatever we’ll eat the next day and freeze the rest. If we’re cooking a dish with some kind of meat, we’ll cook extra meat and put it in the fridge for the next day’s meal. We make sure we have fruits and veggies handy for snacking.

Why am I always talking about cooking? Because 1) it makes you more mindful of what exactly you’re putting into your body, 2) it saves you money and 3) realistically, there are very few people who consistently make good food choices when eating out.

Check out the results of this study from 2006: “Americans reported eating out five times a week. Fast food was the most common choice for breakfast and lunch; for dinner, casual dining and fast food were the most common options. The survey found that those who ate fast food three to six times a week had a BMI that was “significantly greater” than those who ate less than one or two fast food meals a week.” (quoted from Matt Ford’s Ars Technica article)

What have you been eating?

Don’t forget to enter the Healthy Heart Cookbook Giveaway!

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April 3, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Comments »

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