By Federika Garcia Muchacho and Meaghan Sutherland
Have you ever felt like you are eating or craving some foods when you aren’t even hungry? Do you go right to the fridge or pantry when you’re feeling stressed? Do you try to multitask when you eat, instead of savoring your food? If so, you’re not alone!
Eating when we are stressed, bored, or looking for a distraction, or not paying attention to what we’re eating is called mindless eating.
Mindless eating often causes us to overeat. (We’ve all been there with that bag of chips on the couch!) This can happen when we are eating with our emotions rather than listening to our body and hunger cues.
On the other hand, the practice of mindful eating is when we eat while we are in touch with all of our senses. Mindful eating can help us learn to recognize when we are actually hungry and prevent us from eating because of stress or boredom. Eating mindfully can also help reduce our stress levels, as well as help us reach and maintain a healthy weight!
Everyone can eat mindfully, even children! There are simple techniques you can learn and use every day. Practicing these techniques with your kids and during family dinners is a great way to start. Ready for a challenge? Each week, try one of the following mindful eating tips below to get more in touch with your body and all of your senses!
- Recognize triggers, such as stress and tiredness, which might lead you to eat even if you are not hungry. Instead, try going for a walk, reading a book or playing with your children.
- Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full.
- Eat slowly. Practice chewing each bite 20 times before swallowing.
- Use the fullness scale below to find your comfortable level of fullness and listen to your body’s cues.
- Encourage family meals and put away the electronics when you are sitting down to eat–focus on your family instead!
- Use all of your senses to see, smell, feel, and taste, and your food!
Paying attention to your senses and cues is part of the puzzle, but enjoying what and when you eat is also important. Remember that eating starts with the letter E, like the word enjoyment! Avoid self-blame or judging yourself over food. It is all about balance and moderation! For more information, visit http://thecenterformindfuleating.org/
Federika Garcia Muchacho is a dietetic intern at Simmons College
Employers: Let’s Keep Massachusetts Workers Safe! posted on Apr 28
Today is Workers’ Memorial Day, an internationally recognized day to remember workers who have died or been injured, disabled, sickened, on the job. Here in Massachusetts, 125 workers died on the job in just the two-year period of 2014-2015. These workers were our family members, …Continue Reading Employers: Let’s Keep Massachusetts Workers Safe!
Weekly Flu Report, April 28, 2017 posted on Apr 28
The latest weekly flu report shows that rates of flu-like illness continued to decrease over the past seven days. Even with this current trend, we can expect to see flu continue to circulate in our communities well into springtime. So if you haven’t gotten a flu shot …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, April 28, 2017
National Minority Health Month: A Focus on Oral Health posted on Apr 25
April is National Minority Health Month – a time for us to highlight the Department’s work promoting the well-being of racial, ethnic and linguistic minority populations throughout the Commonwealth. Spearheaded by our Office of Health Equity (OHE), all DPH programs strive to respond effectively to …Continue Reading National Minority Health Month: A Focus on Oral Health