In your efforts to develop healthier nutrition habits, how often do you find yourself struggling to manage your willpower? If you’re like many others, “willpower” can be a difficult thing to master – and that’s because it’s easier to change your environment than it is to change your mind!
Our environment plays a significant role on our journey with weight and health. The people, places and things we surround our lives with also influence the everyday decisions we make. However, changing our environment only takes one decision – whereas working on “willpower” can be an all day, everyday battle!
Creating a Mindful Eating Environment: 10 Mindless Eating Solutions
If you’re searching for easier ways to make healthy changes to your diet and lifestyle, consider these simple “mindless eating solutions” for staying on track with nutrition:
- Serve Salad and Vegetables first – Before bringing out your main dish, serve salad and vegetables first to ensure you’re consuming enough of this important food group. This strategy will also help you to eat less of the rest of your dish, which is likely higher in calories, fats, etc.
- Set Your Main Dish on the Stove or Counter – Studies show that you’re likely to eat less if your food is placed on the stove or counter rather than right in front of you.
- Eat on Smaller Plates – Similar to the strategy mentioned above, studies show that you’re likely to consume less food if you’re eating from a smaller plate. This is likely due to the increase of smaller portion sizes.
- Turn Off Your Television – Watching television while you’re eating can be highly distracting, and it affects your ability to eat mindfully. For instance, you’re less likely to notice when you’re full, and you’re likely to eat more food than your body needs.
- Keep Mostly Water on Hand – Calories from drinks can add up quickly – especially in fruit juices, alcohol and soft drinks. By minimizing the amounts of those drinks you have on hand, you’re more likely to consume water when you’re thirsty – and water has amazing healthy benefits!
- Keep Your Kitchen Organized – An organized refrigerator, counter and cabinet space makes you more likely to find and choose the foods that are healthiest for you. On the contrary – a messy kitchen space may make you more apt to grab the first food item that you see.
- Pre-cut Your Fruits and Vegetables – Let’s admit it: we’re more likely to put-off eating produce if we have to go through the burden of cutting it first. Pre-cut fruits and vegetables will eliminate this extra responsibility.
- Have at Least Six Single Servings of Lean Protein On Hand – This includes lean meats such as turkey and chicken, yogurt, eggs and nuts. By having plenty of lean protein on hand, you’re more able to manage your appetite and hunger levels.
- Keep All Snack Foods in One Inconvenient Cupboard – You’re less likely to reach for unhealthy snack foods if they’re not all gazing up at you in plain sight!
- Keep Only a Fruit Bowl on Your Counter – This way, if you’re one to grab foods off based off of their availability, you’ll be reaching for healthy fruits rather than less healthy snack foods.
Looking for More Tips on Creating a Mindful Eating Environment for Your Health?
You can watch the full presentation, given by Dr. Brian Wansink at the OAC’s 5th Annual Your Weight Matters National Convention, by CLICKING HERE.