Why should I avoid mindless eating?

Cassie Vanderwall
Nutrition & Dietetics

Mindless eating is when an individual eats without paying attention to what and how much they are eating. When people eat while working on the computer, watching television, or reading they often eat more than when they just, simply, eat. Mindless eating can promote weight gain and ultimately obesity.

Therefore, it is important to enjoy the food we eat and allow the mind to rest during meal times. Many suggest that people eat less and enjoy their food more when they pay attention and mindfully eat.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Here is my Deadly Habit number 4:

Mindless Eating

Hitting the vending machine at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, raiding the pantry several times a day, eating through a bag of chips before we even realized we've opened them. We're all guilty of eating without thinking about it sometimes. Problem is that often we are eating out of boredom, for a distraction, or to fill a hunger that can't be met by food. And when we fill up on junk food, we add unhealthy calories, gaining fat and stressing our liver.

Replacement: Mindful Eating

Everything we eat should nourish us, and the ability to focus on that will help us all meet our goals of losing or maintaining weight. A simple solution is to pre-plan meals, especially snacks. On Sunday night, pack a variety of healthy snacks -- 12 almonds, 1 string cheese, 2 tablespoons of cranberries, 5 dark chocolates, 18 mini pretzels -- in individual plastic bags for the week ahead. At 3 p.m. on any day, you can reach for a baggie and know you are giving your body a good boost.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.