How to Control Your Eating

How to Control Your Eating?

So many different journals and magazines try to offer advice to people on tips at controlling or curbing people’s unnecessary eating habits. But, when you really break it down, how a person avoids eating those extra bites is being attentive at what they’re eating and how much they have eaten. This specific way of thinking when eating is called “Mindful Eating”.

A report recently was released revealing that implementing 3 strategies can help a person eat less throughout their day.

1-     Avoid distractions

2-     Think about your food while you’re eating it

3-     Remembering what you ate at your previous meal

The reports found that eaters who were distracted by television, radio, or reading while eating, ate more at that meal. Then, they ate even more at the next meal. The study conditions also played a role in the amount of food eaten. Participants were less aware of what they ate when they were in a dimly lit room or eating in a buffet restaurant when employees were constantly removing empty plates from their table.

The results were similar for unrestrained eaters and restrained eaters (individuals who watch what they eat to avoid gaining weight).

So, the researchers came to the theory that anything you do to enhance your memory of what you eat can help control how much you eat at that meal and especially later on. Scientists speculate that when we make decisions about eating, we draw on memories about the satiating effects of our most recent meal.

The following tips can help a person eat mindfully, and likely maintain a healthy weight…

  1. Remove eating distractions: Eating in front of the TV, while reading, checking emails, or while doing anything else takes the focus off of your food are eating. This will increase the chance you overeating.
  2. Think about food when eating: Be conscious of every bite while you are eating to help regulate how much you eat. Involve your senses to notice the smell, taste, texture and color of foods being eaten in the present moment.
  3. Cue your food memories: When you sit down to eat, recall your last meal or snack. Make a mental list of the foods you ate, how they tasted and how satisfied you felt after eating.
  4. Pay attention to hunger: It takes practice, but listening to your body’s hunger cues can help you reduce your calorie intake. Take a moment to determine how hungry you feel before you eat, halfway through a meal and after you finish eating.
  5. Slow your pace: Eating slowly forces you to savor your food and eat less. It also leads to better digestion. After every bite, put down your knife and fork. Chew thoroughly.
  6. Dine to music:  Research shows that listening to soft music can help reduce anxiety, irritability and depression, emotions that can lead to overeating.

Here is a helpful checklist to keep with you at the office or at home:

–        Am I sitting?

–        Am I eating fast or slow?

–        Am I mindlessly munching or noticing each bite?

–        Am I asking “How hungry am I?” on a scale from 1-10

–        Am I multitasking or truly focused on my meal?

–        Is my stomach rumbling or am I bored, stressed, tired, anxious, etc.?

Controlling Your Eating

Awareness Checklist

Mindful MyPlate

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awareness checklist

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Food Stamp Challenges Incorporating Politicians and Celebrities

Newark, NJ mayor wants to highlight the challenges of living off government food aid

Morning talk show host Michael Strahan is adding some celebrity to Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s food stamp challenge.

Strahan, who hosts Live with Kelly and Michael, tweeted a picture on Wednesday of the first meal he ate living off the equivalent of what people receive in government assistance for food. Breakfast for the former New York Giants defensive end consisted of an omelet made with three eggs and black beans, with a side of mashed sweet potato.

Booker began his week-long SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) challenge Tuesday and is living off a budget of about $30 per week for groceries. That’s the same as what New Jersey residents receive if they qualify for the program. The Democrat says he’s trying to raise awareness about food security and what he calls the “inequities” of the American food system.

The most recent U.S. Department of Agriculture data says New Jersey residents receive an average of $133.26 a month in what were commonly known as food stamps.

Booker, who is not the first politician to do a food stamp challenge, is using social media tools to share his experiences. In a video about his first day, the mayor holds his dinner (a bowl of salad) and talks about how he didn’t plan well and wasn’t near the food he purchased.

Booker’s decision to do the SNAP challenge is the result of a debate he had on Twitter about the role of government in supporting nutrition programs. His aim: raising awareness of food security and nutrition issues, especially in low-income urban areas, which are often “food deserts” or areas where there is low access to affordable nutritious food.

Spending for SNAP jumped to $71.8 billion in 2011, up from $30.4 billion in 2007 because more people became eligible for the program due to high unemployment and a weak US economy.

Data for the 2011 fiscal year show the program provided benefits to 44.7 million people in an average month, up from 25.8 million people in 2007. The federal government spent $75.7 billion for the program – $71.8 billion went to benefits and the rest covered administrative costs. Households received a monthly average of $284, and individuals received $134.

But now, Cory Booker is getting hungry.

True to form, Booker is tweeting about his experience and maintaining a blog as well!

After a few days of eating mostly vegetable-based foods, Booker is famished. “The constrained food options I have for this one short week highlight for me (with the hunger pains I felt today between small meals) what many hardworking families have to deal with week after week,” he wrote on his blog.

“Not being able to stop and drop a few dollars for a Venti coffee or Diet Mountain Dew is really raising my consciousness about the food choices I often take for granted,” Booker observed.

A lesson from Booker’s Food Stamp Challenge Diet thus far:

1. People who depend on food stamps don’t have it as easy as conservatives think
To hear hardline conservatives tell it, you’d think people accept food stamps to “‘take advantage’ and live high off the hog,” says Sasha Brown-Worsham at The Stir. Booker’s admirable decision to tighten his belt for a week will expose the lie in that kind of thinking by demonstrating that “living on a ‘food stamp budget’ is not exactly luxurious.” It’s only $28 a week! Critics “ought to open their heart a little and stop whining. In a country as rich as ours, NO ONE should be hungry.”

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2012/12/05/michael-strahan-food-stamps-cory-booker/1749269/

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2012/1204/Why-is-Newark-Mayor-Cory-Booker-living-on-food-stamps

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/06/cory-booker-food-stamp-challenge_n_2250692.html

http://theweek.com/article/index/237309/cory-bookers-food-stamp-challenge-3-lessons

A grocery receipt that the Newark Mayor posted recently

A grocery receipt that the Newark Mayor posted recently

A picture of what the mayor bought from his grocery store trip

A picture of what the mayor bought from his grocery store trip