Mindless eating is when you eat mindlessly. You’re eating without intention to suppress true feelings of hunger. Often this is a result of strict dieting. We withhold essential calories until our bodies have had enough. To make up for lost calories, we start binge eating. Through guilt, we then try to work off the calories through excessive exercising and calorie restriction, leading us to restart the cycle. This form of eating is unsustainable. Instead, we must learn to eat intuitively.
Intuitive eating requires understanding and trusting your body. Check-in with yourself, and ask, “are these real feelings of hunger?” Once you start asking yourself this, you’d be surprised how often we eat when we aren’t starving.
Identify what feelings arise when you feel hungry. Are you stressed, angry, sad? Eating has a way to put a band-aid on these feelings temporarily. Instead, be honest with yourself and deal with the emotions at hand. Eliminate any distractions or triggers that may cause you to eat emotionally.
A good rule of thumb when feelings of hunger arise is to drink a glass of water. False perceptions of hunger often are disguised as dehydration. Wait 15-20 minutes, and if you are still hungry, proceed with making a healthy snack.
Also, be mindful of how fast you are eating. Slow down and take your time. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying your eyes are bigger than your stomach. There is some truth in this saying. It takes time for feelings of satiety to reach your brain and cause you to stop eating. Therefore when we eat fast, we tend to eat far more than our body needs.
Your focus should NOT be on losing weight, but adequately nourishing your body. Your dress size does not define your worth. Therefore, eat food you enjoy, food that makes you feel good. And be sure to get your body moving!
For more insight on how to prevent overheating, check out these podcasts.