Avoiding Mindless Eating Traps
By Jessica Charbonneau, LCSW
If you have mindless eating habits, they are going to remain exactly the same unless you become aware of them. Only once they are in our consciousness can we start to think of creative ways to change them.
To make our hectic over stimulated lives simpler our minds often take advantage of any and all shortcuts. For example, have you ever noticed, when looking for silverware, your hand will automatically gravitate towards the silverware draw. If you rearrange your kitchen, your hand will still travel automatically to the old location until new shortcuts are formed in your brain. Our brains make connections between events and we have to work hard to break old connections to form new ones. Similarly, if we practice mindless eating in certain places, our brains are likely to subconsciously remember this and we may find ourselves eating out of habit instead of hunger. Mindless eating is more likely to occur in the same place, over and over again. Routines can feel safe and secure but we need to break out of routines and engage in new behaviors both before and after meals.
Here are some suggestions for how to avoid common mindless eating traps:
Most importantly, have compassion for yourself! Some of these habits have been present in our lives for a long time. It is hard work to break old connections and to make new ones. Nobody is perfect. Take each day as a new opportunity to avoid mindless eating traps.