Managing Mindless Eating

My work’s fridge has several containers of Einstein Bros. Bagels schmear (aka cream cheese) leftover from a bagel breakfast last week, so I took full advantage of the remaining goods and spread a thick layer on a multi-grain sandwich thin for lunch today.

I added several slices of zucchini that I roasted with garlic salt last night to round out my sandwich.

Zucchini and Cream Cheese Sandwich

Roasted Zucchini

On the side I nibbled on steamed broccoli and sugar-free Jello. YUM!

Wednesday's Lunch

Ways to Stop Mindless Eating

I think we’re all victims of eating mindlessly. How many times have you finished a meal and thought to yourself, “Whoa, where did that go!?”

I read such an interesting article on Jessie’s blog (Graze With Me) that she posted from Prevention magazine and wanted to share the little tips and tricks from the article regarding how to stop mindless eating:

  1. Create Stop Signs: Portion out a snack on a plate or in a plastic bag and leave the rest in the kitchen, so when you’ve finished your portion, you’re “done.”
  2. Ignore the Health Halo: Bypass claims hailing products as “low fat” and head straight to the package’s nutritional information for the important information.
  3. Fixate on Fullness: Most people will stop eating or slow down when a bowl is almost empty or when most of the food on their plate is gone. Don’t rely on the amount of food left on your plate to signal when you’re full. Instead, listen to your body’s cues.
  4. Leave the Mess: Unless you can see the damage, you’re not going to remember how much you ate–and you’ll eat more. Simply leaving the shells from the peanuts you ateย  in a bowl in front of you can serve as a reminder of how much you’ve already consumed.
  5. Hide Your Treats: Keep small amounts of your favorite treats in the house, but hide them out of sight and out of easy reach–in an opaque container on a high shelf, at the back of the pantry, or in a distant room.
  6. Pour Smarter: We tend to perceive objects that are tall as larger than short, squat ones. That means you’re more likely to fill a low, wide juice glass to the brim but stop about halfway for the tall highball glass, even if they hold the same amount of liquid. So replace any short, wide glasses with tall, slim ones.
  7. Know Where You Overeat: You may be more influenced by where you are (at the movies), what you’re doing (sitting in the dark, watching an engrossing flick), and what the people you’re with are doing (also chomping away) than by the taste and quality of the food in front of you or your own hunger.
  8. Serve Small: Stick to serving bowls that hold just 4 to 6 cups of food. And scale down everything else: Portion out the food with a tablespoon rather than a much-larger serving spoon and switch to salad plates in place of Frisbee-size dinnerware.
  9. Rate the Taste: Imagine you’re a restaurant reviewer and critically examine the flavor of whatever you are eating. If you don’t care for the dish, don’t finish it.
  10. Keep Snacks Simple: Use variety to your advantage. Keep seven or eight different kinds of fruits and veggies in the house rather than three or four. Look for prepackaged produce that offers variety. But when it comes to high-cal, high-fat treats, keep choices to a minimum.

Which tip do you think would most benefit you?

I really like the “serve small” tip (# 8), and often serve myself dinner on a salad plate or my oatmeal in a smaller ice cream bowl. I love feeling like I am digging into a plate of overflowing food and this is a great way to achieve that without breaking the calorie bank.

14 Responses

  1. Great tips– I’m definitely guilty of mindless eating. Keeping my “trigger foods” out of the house helps me– if it’s not around, I can’t mindlessly eat it, right?

    I hate the word schmear…why do they have to call it that?! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I think the last tip is great, and keeping the fruit in sight on my counter helps me to pick an apple or orange before going in the cupboards for chips and cereal

  3. Tonight I’m making a new mac-n-cheese, but I’ve decided to serve it in small ramakins as a side dish….that way we only eat our one serving and the rest can be saved for the next night.

    Dinner on a smaller plate always works for me too:)

  4. I try to fixate on fullness. Stop eating when you are full. A lot of times I overeat cause I need to clean my plate. I keep telling my husband we need to stop being part of the clean plate club.

  5. Great tips! I agree that #8 works for me. 9 times out of 10 I eat off of our “salad” plates. The big ones are so freakin big!

  6. Hey those look familiar!!! Thanks for the link-love. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Girl I DEFINITELY know about the mindless eating – I just did a post about it 2 days ago too! What a constant struggle. has some awesome inspiration about taking control of eating habits because she attends Weight Watcher support meetings, but there are some new tips here!

    Thanks! ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. Variety…I think having a lot of options is the way to go. I feel like if I get ina rutt eating the same thing over and over then I am likely to just start mindlessly eating.

  9. hey! that sandwich sounds delicious.. love cream cheese ๐Ÿ™‚ just had some einstein’s cream cheese last night, actually! and i think all those tips are great- for me though the main thing is slowing down! i eat so fast sometimes.


  10. I don’t really think of myself as a mindless eater, but I do eat a little too fast. I definitely need to slow down.

  11. nice tips!! that cream cheese sammie looks awesome, and love the jelllooooo!! I have been having a craving for some jello!

    einsteins have the best bagels!

  12. The one that helps me most is to serve things on smaller plates. I have a tendency to want to always clean my plate even if I’m full! Ok, and the list of girly-manly things is hilarious! No man OR woman for that matter should ever wear a fanny pack!

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