Hello again! Another week has gone by, another week of staying at home, wearing masks to go grocery shopping, and another week of living in this tricky time. I know being at home gives all of us access to our kitchen more often and therefore, our snacks more often. Are you finding yourself mindlessly snacking throughout the day? Do you get to dinner and realize you’re not hungry because you’ve been snacking, but then eat anyway because it’s ‘dinner time’; therefore, leading to feeling overfull and uncomfortable? I have some tips today to help you navigate being at home and still maintaining a healthy lifestyle through mindful eating.
Tip #1 Are you eating out of true hunger or boredom?
Are you eating because you’re genuinely hungry, or is it because you’re bored and want something to do? Or are you avoiding something like housework or other busy work (been there, done that)? If you stop and think before you start mindlessly snacking, you might realize you’re snacking out of boredom more often than you think. A lot of times we walk into the kitchen our of habit and start eating before we really stop and think if we’re actually hungry. Slow down, be mindful, and get the snack if you want or need it, but recognize the times that you are eating just out of boredom.
Tip #2 Include protein and a fruit or vegetable in your snack
Many people grab a handful of chips or crackers for a snack. Then they’re hungry and hour later and they grab more chips or crackers, then an hour after that they’re hungry again…you can see how this cycle continues. If you’re truly hungry and want a snack, make it a decent snack. Include protein and/or fat to fill you up and keep you full, then include a fruit or vegetable for fiber and micronutrients. This will keep you satiated and fuller longer.
Tip #3 Serve yourself a portion–don’t eat from the bag
Ever find yourself opening a box of chips or cookies and eating a whole sleeve without even realizing it?! It’s easier than you think. It’s hard to tell how much you’re eating when you eat directly from the package. Take the time to pour some chips in a bowl or put 3 or 4 cookies in your hand before you eat them. This will force you to be more mindful about your eating habits.
Tip #4 Slow down
Did you know it takes 15-20 minutes or more for your stomach to send signals to your brain that you’re full? This means, you could easily eat past fullness if you snack too quickly. Slow down when you’re eating, take pauses, and reassess every few minutes on whether or not you’re still hungry. This will help overeating and help you tune into how much food makes you full.
Hope these tips help you in the coming weeks and months until life settles down and we’re actually able to leave our houses more regularly.
Until next time!