Post Content

 

By Federika Garcia Muchacho and Meaghan Sutherland

womaninrefrHave 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!

  1. 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.
  2. Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full.
  3. Eat slowly. Practice chewing each bite 20 times before swallowing.
  4. Use the fullness scale below to find your comfortable level of fullness and listen to your body’s cues.
  5. Encourage family meals and put away the electronics when you are sitting down to eat–focus on your family instead!
  6. 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

Written By:


Nutrition Education Specialist for the Massachusetts WIC Program

Nutrition Education Specialist for the Massachusetts WIC Program

Tags: , ,

Recent Posts

Pumpkin Fever – Not Just for Decorations Anymore!    posted on Oct 19

Pumpkin Fever – Not Just for Decorations Anymore!   

 By Wendy Ng What do you think of when you think of pumpkins? I think of fall, and especially jack-o-lanterns for Halloween. But as you know, pumpkins are more than just for decoration—every time I go to the grocery store, there are more and more   …Continue Reading Pumpkin Fever – Not Just for Decorations Anymore!   

Weekly Flu Report, October 13, 2017 posted on Oct 13

Welcome to the first weekly flu report of the 2017-2018 flu season. Each week between now and the end of May, we’ll post the latest data on the spread of flu in Massachusetts. This week’s report shows that rates of flu-like illness in the state   …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, October 13, 2017

Highlights of the October 11th Public Health Council Meeting posted on Oct 11

The October monthly meeting of the Public Health Council featured a trio of informational presentations from DPH program staff related to various Departmental initiatives, including: Update on Implementation of Revised Determination of Need Regulation 105 CMR 100.000 Problem Gambling and Public Health: Challenges and Opportunities   …Continue Reading Highlights of the October 11th Public Health Council Meeting