Break These Eating Habits to Lose Weight
Modern living has actually replaced essential routines that were observed universally in former years. In earlier times, meals were considered too important an activity to be undertaken casually.
Globally, cultures and religions put additional focus on mealtime – especially the evening meal. Even in American culture, dinner is considered the perfect stage for romantic dates, family bonding, and even important business negotiations.
In today’s world, with the advent of technology, the increasing number of fast food dining establishments and flexible work schedules, our typical daily meal schedules are in jeopardy. Formerly an honored routine observed by most families, dinner with family, friends and next-door neighbors have become rare. This new trend doesn’t just threaten bonding time, it can also help you gain weight.
Risks of multitasking
A Harvard Health Blog shared that eating while performing other tasks eliminates our appetite. They pointed out in the article that distraction and inattentiveness to meals lead to eating more, and subsequently, paying attention to your meal will help you eat less.
This study supports what neuroscientists have just recently discovered:
Multitasking, or doing two or more things at the very same time, jeopardizes both mental and physical health. In another study, researchers proved that multitasking reduces performance and efficiency because the brain in only able to concentrate on one thing at a time. If ongoing, multitasking will rewire our brains, making us less able to pay attention and focus on goals, like weight reduction.
Mindfulness at mealtime will Help you Lose Weight
If your brain has already reprogrammed itself to a point that it is compelled to multitask, there is a recommended solution – mindfulness. Mindfulness meditation was introduced to mainstream psychology as a method of psychotherapy. Modeled after the practices of Buddhist monks, fostering a deliberate focus and attention to the senses, experiencing life in the present, passively and non-judgmentally for a defined period, mindfulness practiced at mealtime restores our appreciation of what we may have been taking for granted. The meal, the people we share it with, and NOT what’s on TV at the moment.
Mindful eating and reinstating the routine of family mealtime have been reflected in research studies to be as significant an obsession as that of our diet.
It takes about 20 minutes for the brain to begin signaling that you’re no longer hungry, turning off the craving for more. Eating mindlessly often allows you to take in more calories than you require in 20 minutes.
If you don’t pay enough attention to your meal, your mind is unable to process the info. You don’t retain the memory of eating, and without that, you tend to eat again sooner than you actually need to.
To begin practicing mindful mealtime, do the following:
- Slow down, eat slower, chewing thoroughly before swallowing
- Listen to the silence; learn to enjoy and appreciate the quiet
- Remove distractions; allow yourself to focus on the meal
- Focus on the flavor, appreciating the components of your meal
- Know your food; be conscious of what comprises your meal
Counterproductive eating routines
If you are guilty of any of the following practices, it’s time to change:
- Junk food – these foods are loaded with damaging chemical ingredients along with salt and sugar, factors that contribute to weight challenges and present dangers to your health.
- Eating on the go – A study discovered that eating chocolates while walking often causes us to eat five times more than when stationary. Calories are hard to burn as well if you eat while driving, so park it and take a meal.
- Going out for Meals – Restaurant meals, specifically from fast food establishments, most often will lead to the consumption of a lot of undesirable calories. Best practice is to cook meals at home whenever possible.
- Emotional eating – Eating as a tool to sooth tumultuous emotional states. You may thwart your diet plan and find yourself binge eating. If you find yourself tempted, do some stress-reducing exercises before taking a bite.
- Midnight snacking – Be wary of late-night snacking, as your metabolism is slowest in the evenings.
- Skipping breakfast – Eating breakfast raises the level of the hormone dopamine, responsible for moderating appetite. Dopamine can decrease cravings later on in the day.
- Sleep loss or deprivation – Even though this isn’t an eating habit, not getting enough sleep, 7-8 hours nightly, will disrupt your diet routine.
- Watching TV while you eat – Both eating and enjoying tv should be separate activities, never practiced together.
You should consider each meal as an opportunity to take a complete break from the day and replenish your energy. Provide a minimum of 20 minutes to chew and swallow your food. By eating mindfully, you can teach yourself to appreciate the value of the true blessings you have.
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