Did you know that the senses in the body that are meant to tell us when we’ve had enough food can actually be easily fooled?
We’re all a little too easy to trick, especially if we don’t practice mindful eating. Our appetite is easily influenced, and we all know this – when we smell something, see food shots in commercials or while scrolling past Facebook or Instagram, we immediately think, I want that.
The rise of obesity in the United States is, of course, also linked to growing portion sizes and our inability to stay away from our phones. Even when we’re eating, we’re scrolling through social media or watching something on TV.
When you don’t pay attention to what’s on your plate, it’s easy to overeat. This is because you’re not actively keeping track of how much you’ve eaten. When your eyes are glued to a screen, your attention is somewhere else. Before you know it, you’re sitting on your couch unable to get up because you feel so full. Why? You finished nearly the entire casserole of mac and cheese!
Okay, maybe not that drastic, but you get the point. And another one we’re trying to make is that you have to practice mindful eating.
Here are some things you can do that will keep your focus on your phone.
First, if you’re right-handed, try transferring your utensil to your left hand instead. This will force you to concentrate on your movements, making you snap out of mindless eating. No more finishing lunch in under 10 minutes. Stay focused, and know when you’re full.
Before you sit down at the table, drink water, too. This is going to instantly make you feel full, but that’s not it – sometimes, when you think you’re hungry, you’re actually thirsty and dehydrated. So the next time you feel like you’re craving for something or like you’re already hungry even though you just ate, reach for a full glass of water and gulp it down.
Next, reach for something spicy. Do you ever notice how, when your food is spicy you tend to eat slower, and you try to breathe through your mouth instead? There’s actually a benefit to this! Since you’re eating slower, you’re practicing mindful eating, whether you intended to or not. The spice does all the work for you – it suppresses your appetite and boosts your metabolism!
If applicable, use chopsticks! Challenge the way you eat – chopsticks will also make you take in smaller portions, look at your food closely, and concentrate on the meal.
You started your meal with a full glass of water, now end it by drinking some tea. This will not only give you a wave of calmness (and antioxidants), but it helps suppress your appetite too. This is especially true for green tea, which contains amazing levels of antioxidants and phytonutrients that trigger the body response to tell us we’re full and satiated.
TRY: Green Tea Extract – Optinatural
Have you heard of the pistachio effect? A study in Eastern Illinois University gave two groups of participants a bowl of pistachio nuts that have been de-shelled, while the other group got a bowl with the nuts still in its shell.
The de-shelled consumer group consumed 211 calories on average, while the group who had to take breaks to de-shell the nuts only ate 125 calories on average. However, there’s also a technique involved – those who kept the shells in front of them ate fewer calories than those who threw away the shells quickly.
Stick to a meal routine that incorporates three meals and two snacks. When you take shorter breaks in between eating, you actually become more conscious of the fact that you just ate about two or three hours ago. Preparing healthy snacks can also help curb your unhealthy cravings when your blood sugar levels get too low in between breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
What mindful eating habits do you have?