By now you know that what you eat is important for achieving weight loss goals. But did you know that how you eat also plays a role in your success? At its simplest, mindless eating is defined as “eating food without paying attention,” and this kind of distracted (and often emotional) eating can cause you to ignore your body’s signals that you’re full. That, in turn, can lead to weight gain, says Chris Mohr, Ph.D., R.D. (Did you know these words sabotage your weight loss goals?)
In the video below, Dr. Mohr shares his best strategies for becoming more mindful with your eating habits. Don’t have time to watch? Bookmark these tips to help you become a more mindful eater.
When you plan to eat, set a timer for 20 minutes. Take the entire 20 minutes to eat the meal, focusing on each bite so you don’t wolf it all down in five minutes.
Try eating with your non-dominant hand. This won’t feel as natural, forcing you to slow down and be more conscious about your food.
Eat silently for five minutes, thinking about what it took to produce that meal—everything from the sun’s rays to the farmer’s work, getting it from the grocery store and finally cooking the meal.
Take small bites, and thoroughly chew your food before reaching for another forkful.
Before opening the fridge or cabinet, take a breath and ask yourself, “Am I really hungry?” You can even do something else first, like reading, drinking water, or going on a short walk, to help you figure out the real answer.