Eating with Intention to Fight Sugar Addiction
Eating purposefully (instead of reactively) is the most important skill for controlling your weight and staying away from sugar. The lifestyle of modern society has created a host of external food cues that can easily override your body’s natural cues about eating.
While eating, instead of deciding whether they’re still hungry, people typically use external cues to tell them when to stop. For example, an empty dinner plate is an external cue that it’s time to stop. For most people, if a few bites of muffin remain in the wrapper or if a few soggy French fries are left at the bottom of the bag, they unconsciously decide that they must continue eating.
People habitually eat as though their mission is to finish every last bite in front of them, because they were often forced to do this as children.
To stay mindful while you’re eating, evaluate how you feel after every bite. Are you 80 percent full yet? Are you experiencing what you’re eating or just chewing and swallowing mindlessly? Are you eating because you need nourishment or are you eating as a reaction to some external cue or habit?
Here are some tips to help avoid mindless eating situations:
Don’t eat out of packages. Put your portion on a plate or in a bowl and put the package away. If it’s in front of you, you’ll most likely eat it until it’s gone.
Don’t put serving dishes on the dinner table. If you want more food, make yourself get up and go into the kitchen to get it.
Keep food out of sight. Food that’s visible (sitting out or in a glass container) gets eaten more, because every time you pass the candy jar at the office, you have to make a decision about whether to eat some.
Every time you see it, you have to say “No” to something tasty and tempting. Eventually, the No’s turn into, “Well, okay, just this once. . . .” Use “out of sight, out of mind” to your advantage.
Watch out for unconscious habits and scripts that dictate your behavior. Beware of tricks like eating until the TV show is over or eating restaurant bread until the meal arrives.
You don’t have to eat everything that’s on your plate. When you have more than protein and vegetables on your plate, don’t feel obligated to eat it all. The first two bites of anything are the most satisfying.