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Mindless Eating vs. Mindful Eating

Habits can change, once we have the desire to do it. And once we see what we’ve been doing. Retrospection is the key to gaining perspective and doing something differently.

Some days I find myself eating and picking or piece-mealing after I’ve cooked something like a loaf of bread or cookies or a pasta dish. If it’s out on the counter one bite will lead to another an hour later or so. Not good. But, I love food and eating makes me, I think, very happy. This includes work days when something brought in as a treat is mindlessly picked on throughout the day. Not good. Food at work makes the day go by faster, so it seems and generally puts people in a happier mood. Not altogether true.

How do I put this into perspective? How do I change back to my good habits that so easily get changed when broken just a few times?

At work, I have limited myself to just Fridays. Friday is lunch meeting day and if available, a special treat, at work.

At home, to break my habit of nabbing a bite of something before my meal and a couple of hours later, after my meal, I try to just eat at certain times and only those times. Hard, yes. And to eliminate my worst habit of eating late, I try not to eat after 7:30PM. After that I can have a glass of milk or tea to help me sleep. If I really want something in particular, I include that with my meal or right after. 

Meal times really help me eliminate mindless eating. Keeping snacks at bay – most of the time – unless I’m urgently hungry, is a key note to stopping mindless eating altogether.

To sit and have a plate of food, or exactly what I’m about to eat, right in front of me, carves out mealtime in its entirety. This is it. This is its’ time. At that time it’s all about the food and the meal, nothing else. Mindfully eating, well.

Simple as it sounds? Simplicity causes it to be overlooked – and looking to diets is the most common way out. You think you’re going to try something else to get back on track while not eliminating the habits that got you to the mindlessness in the first place. It’s a vicious circle.

Being aware of what you do and what you want will bring you back to the right place. Set the table, put the food in front of you and eat, and that’s it. Until meal time rolls around the next time. And it will. Know that every time a bite tries to make its way to your mouth, between meals.

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