10 Tips on how to stop compulsive and mindless eating
Many people wonder how to stop eating so much. Eating mindlessly is when we eat, when we don’t really need to eat and we do it without even thinking. It can be caused by habit, such as when you always grab a snack when you sit down in front of the TV, it can be caused by stress, where you eat for comfort and it can be caused by simple boredom too. Whatever the reasons behind mindless eating, if you’ve ever looked down and found yourself wondering where all the cookies went, then read these ten tips to help you stop eating mindlessly:
1. Concentrate on your food
First good tip on how to stop compulsive eating is to concentrate on your food. One of the biggest causes of obesity today is the habit that many of us have of eating our meals in front of the TV or the computer. Quite simply, if your attention is not on what you are eating, you will eat more and you won’t even realize when you are full.
2. Put down your fork and pace yourself
Take one bite of food at a time and put down your fork between bites. Give yourself time to chew your food properly, savour the taste and enjoy your food. It actually takes around twenty minutes for your body to tell you that it’s full, so if you eat too quickly, you will eat too much.
3. Drink a glass of water before every meal
Another good tip on how to stop mindless and compulsive eating is to drink a glass of pure water 15 minutes before every meal. It is estimated that over 70% of people are dehydrated anyway, so an extra few glasses of water certainly won’t hurt you. Drinking a glass of water before mealtimes will reduce your hunger and fill you up, so you will be less likely to overeat.
4. Don’t eat if you are not hungry
Try and become more aware of what your body is telling you and the next time you find yourself reaching for a snack, stop, and ask yourself, if you are really hungry. Thirst is often confused for hunger, so a glass of water might help on these occasions too.
5. Remember, you don’t have to clear your plate
Most of us were taught that we should always clear our plates at mealtimes and that has become an ingrained habit. Now that we are older though, we should be more conscious of eating only what we need, not ritually eating everything that is put in front us, just because that is what we were taught when we were kids.
6. Always eat from a plate
Make it a habit to put snacks on a plate and don’t eat them from the packet. If you want to eat two cookies, then put two on a plate and eat them, because if you take the packet, it’s all too easy to have, just one more!
7. Keep a food diary
Food diary also can help you on how to stop compulsive eating. If you really want to know how much you eat every day then keep a journal. Write down everything you eat, even the smallest of snacks and, if you are honest, you will be surprised at the results. Making a note of every snack that you eat will make you more mindful of your eating habits and it will make you think twice, before you snack.
8. Don’t skip meals
Next good tip on how to stop binge eating is to avoid skipping meals. Skipping meals will make you feel tired later on and then you will eat more to compensate for it, without even realising. It’s better to eat five or six meals, through the course of the day, than it is to have a massive binge at the end of the day and don’t forget – breakfast is the most important of all the meals.
9. Brush your teeth after meals
Brushing your teeth is another good trick on how to stop compulsive and mindless eating and it leaves your mouth feeling fresh, minty and clean. If you brush your teeth after every meal you will feel far less inclined to ruin that fresh feeling with some salty potato chips or other unnecessary snack.
10. Eat with your left hand (If you are right handed)
Eating snacks with your less dominant hand, your left hand if you are right handed, will make you far more conscious of what you are doing. Mindless eating occurs when you are not thinking at all about what you are doing and dipping into the cookie jar with your less dominant hand will force you to concentrate on your eating more.
How to stop compulsive and mindless eating? Do you have some other tips to share?