Mindful eating

One of the easiest ways to gain weight is by not paying attention to what and how much you’re actually eating. When you stop and think about it, you probably eat things without thinking several times a day – the second latte you bought this morning, those biscuits you ate during your midday meeting, the handful of chips you snacked on when you got home, whatever was left on your kids’ plates when they’d finished eating their dinner. Life is full of opportunities for mindless eating!

Pay a little more attention, and you could notice a lot of difference around your middle. A recent study carried out at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management discovered that those who consciously monitor how much they eat actually feel satisfied sooner, and thus prevent themselves from overeating.

There are various ways you can start to watch what you eat. In one study carried out by the researchers at the University of Minnesota, participants were asked to count how many times they swallowed during a meal, and those who counted were sated sooner than those who didn’t. Other strategies you could try include keeping a food diary, giving yourself a serve of snack foods such as nuts or dried fruit rather than eating them straight from the packet and making sure that you have as few distractions as possible when you eat. Don’t watch TV with dinner or sit at your computer through lunch – focus on your plate, and you’ll enjoy your food more and feel fuller faster.