This can definitely be an issue for me and I am sure many others as well. Unconscious eating is a sure fire way to put on weight, or reduce the amount of weight you want to lose.
A healthy eating plan doesn’t have to be a strict diet, but you do need to be conscious of what you are eating so that you can keep track.
The crazy thing is, I am writing this post while eating a rice cracker and I didn’t even realise. So this post is well and truly for myself too!!
The goal post
The goal of unconscious eating is to make yourself more aware of what you are eating and the experience of it. Food is so beautiful, delicious, colourful and holds its own story. So let’s slow down and make ourselves aware of the pleasure when we are eating.
Tips to become more conscious
- Recognise what true hunger is. This is when you should be eating. Of course this does not mean to wait until you are starving, but you need to understand you bodies cues of when you actually need food rather than just feel like eating. Have a read of this post by our sister site about hunger pangs.
- Manage your environment. This is quite a few tips within itself. So let’s break it down further.
a) Where do you eat? Table, car, desk. Of course it is better to eat at a table, but sometimes that is not possible. Wherever you are eating, try to focus on what you are doing rather than multitask with your emails or phone conversation. If you are at your desk, turn away from the computer.
b) The way in which your food is served. Do you eat it with a knife and fork or eat it out of the wrapper. If you can eat it slowly and see what you are eating the mental image of the meal will stay with you for longer, rather than forgetting that you even ate!
c) Socially. Try to eat before you go out to a canapé function so you are not ravenous. When ordering out at a restaurant, look at the menu online before you go so you can choose a better for you option.
d) TV. This is one of the worst places to mindlessly eat. Try healthier options so at least you are eating something with less kilojoules and fat. i.e. instead of butter popcorn, try air-popped. Instead of a caramel sauced ice-cream, try some honey on yoghurt.
e) In the car. Again a terrible place to eat, not only for yourself, but for your car. Mindless eating where the meal is not enjoyed but just a means to an end.
f) With the kids. You can easily eat a whole additional meal while feeding the kids. If you do like to pick, take it out of your meal so you are not eating more than your fair share. If you can, think about eating your meal together with your kids. It is a great way to in still healthy eating habits with your kids too. Sometimes it is impossible to eat as a whole family with people commuting to work and working late, but if you can manage a couple of meals at night time per week, it will be beneficial to all.
3. Eat with awareness
a) Sit down and enjoy the occasion.
b) Take a bite and put the food down or your knife and fork.
c) Eat with a knife and fork in general.
d) Take a sip of water or take a breath between mouthfuls or during the meal to ‘recalibrate’ the occasion.
e) Think about how your hunger is being satisfied.
Of course, when you are a busy mummy or daddy, it is just hectic sometimes getting kids ready for school or getting their lunch into them so they can have an afternoon nap. To avoid unnecessary eating in this situation, especially if you are trying to lose weight, it might be easier to have a Healthy Mummy Smoothie. They are incredibly filling, full of fibre and adequate nutrition to get on with the day. They are also perfect to drink while you a breastfeeding. For some reviews of the range by Nutritionists, read here.