How to Avoid Mindless Eating

It’s easy to snack without thinking about it. Some of us do it in front of the television, while talking on the telephone or while sitting at our desk at work. That bowl of potato chips or popcorn is just too tasty to ignore. Once you start munching without thinking, it is easy to eat an entire bag of chips or a bowl full of popcorn before you realize what you have done. A few simple changes can help you avoid mindless munching, which can lead to excess calories and weight gain.
Photo Credit: Renee Comet PD
Remove all candy, chips and other fat-laden or sugary snacks from your television room. The best practice is to not eat while watching television. If you must snack while watching your favorite television programs, choose grapes, raisins, nuts, baked whole grain crackers and cheese, fresh vegetables or sliced fruit. Instead of sipping on a soda, have a glass of green tea on ice. Keep a bowl of mixed nuts or your favorite nuts on the table on the television room instead of chips or cookies. 
Clean out your desk at work and give away or toss out all the fattening, sugary and greasy snacks you have hidden in your special snack drawer. Try to avoid snacking while working on your computer. Set a specific time for your snacks and stick to the schedule.  A light, healthy snack in the early morning before lunch and again in the afternoon can help keep your metabolism stimulated and keep you from over-eating at lunch or dinner. Replace unhealthy snacks with small packages of nuts, granola bars, dried fruit or fresh fruit options. Stay away from the soda machine at work. Ask your employer to offer low-calorie, sugar-free alternatives to sweet soda or bring your own drinks. Keep some bottled water in your desk and drink that instead of hitting the soda machine. If your company serves donuts or other sweets at meetings, drink a glass of water and eat a piece of fruit before the meeting, so that you will not feel the urge to pick up a sugary treat to munch on while the manager drones on about sales figures. 

Pay attention to the foods you put in your mouth. Rather than mindlessly grabbing a handful of whatever is in the bowl in front of you, stop and look at the food. If it’s a handful of candy or chips, put it down. Move the bowl out of your reach or get a healthy snack instead. 

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