The Dangers of Unconscious Eating: How to Practice Mindfulness When Snacking
Most, if not all, of us love to snack – when binge-watching our favorite TV shows, finishing tasks, or browsing through social media, it has become a norm to get a bag of chips or a jar of cookies. How many times have you unconsciously finished them all in one seating?
Fret not if you’re guilty of this because it has become a bad habit for most of us, but be warned, it will eventually wreak havoc to our health if left unchanged. Don’t be confused – snacking is not bad per se, but if you keep munching on food without being present in the moment, that’s where the problems arise: you overindulge, which will result in weight gain.
All Attention on Food
The thing is, we tend to devour food as we do other things like watching TV or reading a book. This usually results in mindless eating, which means we are not fully aware of what or how much we put into our bodies.
Dietician Megan Alsford’s advice is to only eat whenever you’re eating. She likened this activity to driving because when a driver’s focus is not on the road, then it will result in accidents.
Just like in consuming food, you can encounter ‘accidents,’ such as overeating. Your body will easily lose track of what you’re doing when you keep on shifting your attention to other things rather than on eating.
Putting food in our mouths is meant to be a gastronomical adventure but if you just keep devouring and swallowing anything, you will not enjoy the experience. Remember, eating should involve your senses – appreciate how your dish looks, savor the aroma, and check the texture and flavor.
Megan explains that knowing what you do and don’t like will help you know which food to eat. This way, you can be more mindful and present when gobbling your favorite meal.
Don’t Be Afraid to Have Leftovers
It may be a little insensitive to not think of the hungry people in other parts of the world when you’re not going to finish your food, which is why it is best to only cook what you can eat.
There’s an unspoken pressure about devouring a whole plate, so the next time you want to be mindful, make sure that you whip something up that you can finish in one seating. That or cook a meal that can last for a few days so you can just store your leftover and reheat it whenever you need to.
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