Why do we eat when we aren’t hungry? Why don’t we stop when we feel full?
As humans we eat habitually, but can be triggered to eat by environmental influences. If this happens we may not notice how much we eat or that we are even eating at all. This mindless eating is
known as 'auto eating' and it can lead to the consumption of unhealthy snacks and subsequent unintentional weight gain. So how do we avoid auto eating?
1. Change your environment:
Environment has a large influence on how you eat. If you are eating on a couch while watching television, your mind is engaged with the TV and not the consumption of your meal. This means that once the meal is finished it is likely you will feel less satisfied compared to if you ate at your dinner table and properly appreciated the flavours and textures of each bite.
2. Use a Smaller plate/dish
Auto eating can be avoided simply through visual trickery. Try eating off a smaller plate, as this will make your meal appear larger in proportion to your plate and trick your body into thinking you are intaking more food than it really is.
3. Be Careful at Social Gatherings
At events such as parties or group dinners, you are likely to be offered a variety of food. This can be very dangerous, as single portion snacks are too small to satisfy and can actually trigger your hunger instead. A good way to avoid overeating at social occasions is to physically remove yourself from the presence of food.
4. Drink Water
If you can manage to only drink water this will help avoid adding any unnecessary sugar to your diet in the form of soft drinks or juice. You should also avoid drinking alcohol because of its various detrimental effects on development and motivation. Additionally, alcohol is synonymous with giving into temptation and could easily lead you down a slippery slope of drunk eating.
5. Be Prepared:
The best way to avoid mindless eating/snacking is to eat food that has already been prepared. If you do not have the time to prep your meals for the week like me, then I would recommend using Fitness Meals, as they have a wide selection of fully customisable meals that can be tailored to any fitness goals that you have.