Food is just about everywhere in our daily lives. Much of which we end up eating even though we did not plan on it, were not really hungry or did not think it 'counted' towards overall weight gain.
Mindless eating can mean our emotions have taken over. To learn a bit more about that, feel free to review our July article: Are You An Emotional Eater? Today's article refers to eating mindlessly in the sense that we did not really think about it, for example eating a bit here and there, an overloaded lunch plate at the cafeteria, eating in front of the TV or grabbing some cookies offered to us at work.
One cause of mindless eating is lack of planning. Once we plan specifically what we will be eating on a given day, we can better define what was not on that list and will therefore not be eaten.
Even planning to eat air popped popcorn in front of the TV at 31 calories per cup is a part of combatting mindless eating. You'll plan to not grab just anything from the fridge. Compared to a Ben & Jerry's ice cream at 680 calories per cup, the 31 calorie popcorn starts to look like a great substitute. Plan out the time you need to prepare your menus, your grocery shopping list and plan some time to cook. Plan your social events coming up this week so you can be prepared before you go to them.
Next, tackle the everyday places where excess food comes into your day. A sweet at the checkout counter, a plate of cookies at work, eating some leftovers in the kitchen while starting to do the dishes, some leftover pizza or food in the refrigerator, snacks with the kids in the car, something-or-other left out on the countertop, etc. If it is too hard to do this all at once, keep a journal for one week and look at it objectively. Where did the food come into your day that you did not really plan on eating?
Know that just 100 extra calories per day, all things being equal, can add up to 10 pounds gained in one year! Skipping 100 calories here and there can work to your benefit, as you lose 10 pounds in one year and hardly had to think about it. What could be the first to go? What is the easiest to let go of, for example, bread with all meals, seconds at lunch, or creamy salad dressings? Keep reading ...
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