Beating mindless eating

Today’s guest post about mindless eating (we’ve all fallen prey to that one before) comes from Danae Matthews, a 20-something living and loving in San Francisco. She writes for on-line women’s health resource Women’s Health Base.

About two months ago I came across an article about mindless eating that really woke me up. Before that I hadn’t heard of that particular phrase and its association with weight gain, but after reading it I realized that my life was chock full of situations and circumstances where I allowed myself to indulge in mindless eating.

“I realized that my life was chock full of situations and circumstances where I allowed myself to indulge in mindless eating.” 

Let me set up a scenario for you that happened frequently for me before I started to think critically about what I was putting in my mouth. I would go out to lunch with friends or co-workers and the majority of the people I was with would order something like a burger. Seeing how good everything looked and definitely not wanting to single myself out as some “health food nut,” I just went with the flow and ordered what seemed natural for the group. Not only would I feel way too full after this, but OUCH! I had ended up spending 15 bucks on a lunch I didn’t need.

Now, I am 100% completely okay with this when it is a once in a while occurrence. but at the time, this kind of behavior was not reserved for cheat days and cheat days alone. I was making lunch one of the biggest and most unhealthy meals of the day, and immediately after eating I would go back to my desk and just sit there for another 3 to 4 hours. None of those carbs were being put to use. Not only was I not caring about what I was putting in my mouth, but I also wasn’t staying active to counterbalance it.

“I was making lunch one of the biggest and most unhealthy meals of the day.”

An article I had read referred to mindless eatingstrictly in an overeating sense, but I’ve since begun to think of it as any time you sit down to eat and aren’t thinking about your best interests. It can be a risky practice to let the environment or people around you dictate or influence what you are putting in your mouth. Mindless eating can be just as bad if the group of co-workers you are going out with are “health food nuts” and are only eating roughage when you’re really craving something with a little more sustenance.

“I’ve since begun to think of it [mindless eating] as any time you sit down to eat and aren’t thinking about your best interests.”

It is important for you to decide what kind of foods, portions, flavors, and meals satisfy you for each time of the day. That way when you are out or in the grocery store you know exactly what you are seeking without distraction. It feels so much better to know now what works for my body at lunch and know what to look for on a menu when I go out. I guarantee, unless you are going to a food truck or restaurant specific to one cuisine, a menu will carry some variation of the dish you like. This will keep you from getting sidetracked.

A last thought: There may always be someone who will make a comment about what you are ordering or putting on your plate. I’ve gotten this both ways. Sometimes all I want is a freaking burger and friends have made snide comments about that decision (I know some would argue how great those friends are, but I just chalk it up to girls being girls). On the flip side, I’ve been out and ordered a salad when everyone was having burgers, and people have poked at me for being health conscious.

“Nobody is going to have to live with the guilt or the longing later for what you did or didn’t eat. That is your cross to bear.”

The bottom line is that it is your body. Nobody is going to have to live with the guilt or the longing later for what you did or didn’t eat. That is your cross to bear. As you shouldn’t be influenced, neither should you be deterred! It might take some getting used to, but it will be so much more worth it in the long run.

What do you say? How do you beat mindless eating? Drop us a line in comments and share what works for you when you encounter munchies madness!

Print Friendly

Comments

  1. Currently, I do not beat mindless eating even a LITTLE. But I love some of your points. Thank you for giving me some solid food for thought and not mindless internet carbs ;c)

  2. This is so good, especially "It can be a risky practice to let the environment or people around you dictate or influence what you are putting in your mouth." I do this all the time!

  3. Amazing – It's like we are all part of some Food Awakening os something! 'Bout time!
    Love it!

  4. Low Carb Daily says:

    I think that when others poke fun of people for being "health food nuts" or whatever, they are really just not loving how we are putting their own behavior under a microscope…. It's a Buddhist belief that we are all just mirrors of how we view ourselves.

Leave a Reply