Shopping at Costco last week, I noticed the calorie count listed on the menu in the food court. 760 calories for a slice of Cheese Pizza. I used to eat TWO of those slices as a cheap, quick meal! It put in perspective as an example of the mindless eating I did before I joined MWLC. Seeing the calories gave me a visual awareness of how much food I was eating and didn’t account for.
I constantly have to work on being accountable when it comes to impulsive food choices. Having six people in my house that have different diets and needs creates a tough environment to be healthy in. So, I have to work at maintaining habits that keep me moving forward toward my goals. Here are positive habits I am working on:
Take a Seat
Make a point to eat in the kitchen and sit down. Avoid standing or taking food outside of the kitchen. It reinforces the focus on eating instead of watching TV, reading, and working which can lead to overeating if you’re distracted by multi-tasking.
Feel like you’ll make an impulsive choice? Reach for a piece of sugar-free gum or brush your teeth. Chewing gum or brushing your teeth will diminish the desire to eat.
Pencil It In
Plan snacks or indulgences to avoid hunger or deprivation. Evenings are my time and can be dangerous if I don’t prepare with healthy options. If I’m not stocked up, I make bad choices. Instead of eliminating my time, I modify my snack with a healthier option like low-fat frozen yogurt or fresh fruit, so I still have my evening treat.
Avoid eating out of a bag or box which can lead to eating large, endless quantities. Use small plates or bowls that help manage portion size and visually show how much you’re eating.
Consider buying pre-cut produce for convenience or plan ahead and cut-up produce for the week. If you’re short on time and effort, buying pre-cut produce is worth the cost to have a healthy, convenient option on hand. Hunger and a lack of healthy options are an equation for reckless eating.
If all else fails, read the label. In a moment of weakness after having cases of Girl Scout cookies in my house for weeks, I looked at the label. I couldn’t believe 2 cookies amounted to 140 calories—2 little cookies and I easily could have eaten all 12 in the box. Awareness of what you put in your mouth can deter you from making bad choices.
Understanding why and when we eat mindlessly can help change our behavior. How do you work on preventing careless eating?