Friday, May 7, 2010

Mindful or Mindless?

One thing that I'm really trying to pay attention to is to mindfully eat foods, rather than midLESSly eat them.

How many of us have sat down at our computers and munched snack foods? And then 20 minutes later, half the bag of chips is gone & you have no idea where it went. Mindless.

Or what about dinner... My family is guilty of eating in front of the television every single night. Next thing you know, your plate is cleaned & you have no idea where that mountain of food went. Mindless.

Anybody ever come home from school or work & immediately open the fridge scanning for a snack? It's not that we're really hungry, but it's just *what you do* (I blame this habit on the after school snacks my mom made every day for 12 years of schooling!). Mindless.

So how do we move from the mindless eating to actually being mindful about what we put in our mouths? The answer is simple, but so many of us probably don't do it. Pay attention & listen to your body! So many times have I had a snack just because the food was there. Was I really hungry? No, but I ate it anyway, *just because*.

One thing that Weight Watchers has added since I followed the plan last is a little scale at the bottom of your daily logs that allows you to monitor how hungry/satisfied/full you are, throughout the day. This is a great tool to have! Of course WW has always emphasized to pay attention to your "comfort zone" and try to stay in the middle--not starving, but not FULL... just no longer hungry--satisfied. And I heard about that comfort zone for months... but did I really pay attention to it in the past? Nope. I just ate my points & that was that. Having this simple little tool to fill out throughout the day is so helpful! Not only does it make me aware and make me LISTEN to my body, but it also teaches me what foods keep me satisfied for longer and what foods don't.

For example, this morning, I got up & felt slightly hungry. I noted this on my graph at 7am, decided to hop in the shower then eat. Had a couple scrambled eggs & some yogurt & felt satisfied. Not full, but not hungry. Satisfied. Noted this on my chart. I drank half coffee/half milk (the only way I can get my milk in, cuz I dislike milk!), then I packed some multigrain cheerios to have as a snack later. At about 10, my tummy started growling. I was getting hungry. I could have just dug into the cheerios right then, but I decided to have a fruity (WW hard candy) & a glass of water to see if that would trick my body. Sometimes this will work--those are the times I know I"m not "really" hungry, but I'm just wanting to mindLESSly eat. This time though, the hard candy & water didn't bump me up, so I knew my body really did need some fuel. Ate my cheerios & I'm feeling better. It'll tide me over to lunchtime. And at lunchtime, I'll reevaluate my hunger & only eat til satisfied. The key is listening to my body & recognizing when enough is enough!

How have you tackled mindless eating? Have you made any rules for yourself, like no eating in front of the TV, etc? If you haven't tackled it yet, what are you going to do TODAY that will lead you down the direction of mindful eating?

2 comments:

Anini said...

Sounds like you are really listening to your hunger :) Thats great! I was guilty of cleaning my plate and being toooo full tonight at dinner... yikes
I love the chart/graph thing too. Sooo helpful!

Smasher Girl said...

as im reading this i am munching on a big bowl of kettle corn! good thing it's a hundred calorie pack. i totally agree with you about the "am i reallllly hungry" thing. eating is just simply my FAVORITE thing to do. if i could get it into my head that it's not a hobby, i think this weight loss thing would be a lot easier!