4 Ways to Curb Mindless Eating
Does this scenario sound familiar?
It’s 9 pm on a Friday night.
You are watching TV.
As you sit there absorbing the mindless entertainment, you feel the almost undeniable call of your refrigerator. The one beckoning you to grab some snacks and stuff your face as you sprawl out on the couch.
You aren’t hungry, though, you think. Or are you? whispers the refrigerator.
Your stomach is not growling?
You don’t feel faint?
Yet the pull to start devouring some snacks or leftovers seems too strong to resist.
So you don’t.
And a couple of hours later you go to bed feeling bloated, guilty, and disgusted with yourself.
Welcome to the world of mindless eating.
First, understand there is nothing to be ashamed of—it’s pretty natural and most of us have done it at some point in time. We binge and snack and we don’t think about it.
Of course, it’s definitely not healthy nor will it help you keep your waistline slim and trim.
So here are four simple tips that will help you control all that snacking and binge eating:
Tip 1: Don’t skip meals.
Hey, we get it. Life gets busy and sometimes we skip a meal, or two—only to catch up later in the day with one big meal and then a bunch of little “meals” later that night.
But while skipping breakfast or lunch may seem like an easy and practical little “productivity hack,” it is also a major reason we eat mindlessly.
Studies show that eating one large meal per day increases blood sugar levels and the production of the “hunger” hormone ghrelin more so than when you stick to a regular schedule of three to five meals a day.
Adhering to a regular eating schedule is one of the most effective ways to overcome binge eating.
Skipping meals may save time, but it also increases cravings and the risk of overeating.
Simply put, if you eat regularly, you avoid large swings in hunger and blood sugar levels which contribute largely to one’s desire for mindless snacking.
Tip 2: Drink plenty of water.
Staying hydrated has been shown to be a simple yet effective way to curb cravings and binge eating.
In fact, studies show that increasing water intake (especially before meals) decreases hunger and increases the feeling of fullness.
Additionally, it has also been demonstrated that drinking more water can boost metabolism and weight loss.
The amount of water each person should drink daily depends on the person, so listen to your body and drink some H2O whenever you’re tempted to reach for a soda. We also recommend checking out some water drinking apps for your phone that will help keep you on track.
Tip 3: Ditch the chips.
Okay, we aren’t hating on chips. However, it’s undeniable that keeping junk food out of the house will reduce your snacking tendencies.
Conversely, keeping healthy foods on hand can reduce emotional and mindless eating—while ensuring that any snacks you reach for aren’t the worst for you.
Get rid of processed snack foods like chips, cookies, and the like while stocking up on healthier options such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
Not only will this improve your diet and reduce calorie intake when you do snack, but it’s likely your frequency of snacking will see a reduction as well.
Tip 4: Increase your protein intake.
We all have heard the ol’ saying, “You are what you eat.”
So it should be no surprise that one of the keys to a healthy diet is properly balancing your intake of carbs, fats, and proteins.
But did you know that your protein intake impacts things like mood, mental wellbeing, metabolism, and appetite?
Did you also know many people don’t eat enough protein?
Upping your intake of protein-rich foods not only will help burn calories but also can help curb emotional eating while reducing food cravings and increasing the feeling of fullness.
Try including at least one good source of protein—such as meat, eggs, or nuts—in each meal and enjoy high-protein snacks whenever you feel those pesky hunger pangs.
These simple tips are four proven, easy, and effective ways to help reduce your desire to binge eat or mindlessly snack at night when camping out on the couch.
There is no doubt you will still have those times when the kitchen calls your name with its hollow promise of endless eating pleasures. But when you combine some self-control and proper dieting measures, you will be surprised how easy it is to JUST SAY NO!
Looking for a little assistance in your weight loss journey? Reach out to your local Bee Healthy Clinics – visit our locations page and give us a call.