We make over 200 daily decisions about food! Most are unconscious decisions, according to behavior scientist Brian Wansink, PhD, director of Cornell Food and Brand Lab. However, what if you could learn to be mindful about what you eat and how you eat? What could this do not only for your waistline, but your internal health as well? Check out these 7 simple tricks to eat more mindfully.
- Snack wisely before shopping: have a healthy snack to prepare for the grocery store run. Research has found that if you enjoy a healthy snack pre-shopping, you will buy 25% more fruits and vegetables, compared to those who went famished.
- Don't supersize it: opt to use smaller plates and cups when dishing up your meals at home. Research supports that we feel more satisfied (and eat less!) when our food appears to take up the space on a plate. Tip: instead of using a dinner plate, swap it out for a salad size plate and dish up.
- Make healthy food visible: what you see is what you want! Stock your fridge with healthy options and make them visible by using clear containers or plastic wrap. You will be more likely to grab the good stuff when you are looking for a snack or meal. Keep in mind that a candy bowl works the same way, so keep the sweets at a distance or in a closed container.
- Keep a clean kitchen: a study found that you will eat 44% more food if your kitchen is cluttered! This is reason enough to tidy up the kitchen – to set yourself up for snacking success.
- Put food away: I spy food! When our eyes lock on food that is on our kitchen counters, we are more likely to eat. Remove food from plain sight to fend off unwanted weight. A study found that women who kept a box of cereal on the counter weighed 20 pounds more, on average, than those who put it in the pantry.
- Plate it up: want a snack? Put it on a plate! If you eat directly from a bag, you cannot visualize how much you are eating. Seeing food on a plate helps with portion control and overall satisfaction.
- Minimize distractions: Turn off the tube, shut down the computer and take a moment to enjoy your meal or snack. Eating while distracted makes you less aware of how much you are eating. Plus, if you are watching a TV show, you are more likely to continue eating until the end of the program, even if you are no longer hungry!