January 12, 2021
3 Ways to Control Pandemic-Related Mindless Eating
Mindless eating, or eating while distracted and with little thought, leads many people to eat more than they need or foods that don’t serve them. This act stops you from thinking about the foods you’re consuming and often leads you away from your nutritional goals.
Add to the problem that most people are spending more time at home (and working right next to the refrigerator!) because of the pandemic, it’s possible your mindless eating has gotten a little out of control.
To avoid mindless eating, you need to plan for your meals ahead of time. There are many ways to think through meal preparation and planning, which can seem a bit overwhelming…but it doesn’t have to be!
Here are 3 ways TaskHuman coaches suggest gently incorporating meal planning into your day to control your mindless eating:
1. Think through your day
If you know what your day is going to look like, and you decide when and what you’re going to eat ahead of time, you reduce the questions around food. Knowing when you’re going to eat allows you to focus on something else – like a work call or deadline. When you feel those first hunger pangs, you can give yourself permission to feel them without solving them. You know you’re going to eat in 20 minutes. And you know you can wait that long.
You can make it easier though. It also helps to eliminate the easy access to food. Make sure your workspace is away from the refrigerator so food temptations aren’t constantly in your face.
Listen as Coach Kara Stoner explains:
2. Make it easy
All plans can get knocked aside when big (or not-so-big) events occur. Your video conference runs over by 20 minutes, and now you don’t have time to whip up a salad. So you grab whatever you can find, which probably isn’t the best thing for you.
The trick is to make eating healthy easy. If you set aside a certain time each week to meal prep, you build in the planning and make it part of your weekly routine. It doesn’t matter when – the time that works best for you is best. And when you have healthy, pre-made nutritious snacks on hand too—such as carrots and hummus—you always have something healthy to munch on in between meals when you’re feeling hungry.
Coach Andrea Caprio explains:
3. Take it slow
To a new planner, thinking about implementing meal planning can seem mind-boggling. Planning for three meals and snacks a day, for seven days is a lot. It can be difficult for some to even determine where to start.
But there are no rules. You can start as you are able. It can be as little or as intricate as you want. What helps is the idea that any food preparation will help you feel in control of your day.
Listen as Coach Anita Steele explains:
Once you are able to plan your meals, you’ll want to get behind why you’re mindlessly eating. There is a difference between being hungry and eating to hide your emotions. To find out what is driving your desire to eat, you need to pay attention to what you’re feeling when you want to eat.
Listen as Coach Zachary Cooper explain:
Sometimes in the moment, our emotions overpower our resolve. That’s ok. It’s about progress, not perfection. And it’s about practice. You can strengthen your ability to eat only at regular times simply by doing it.
But you don’t have to white-knuckle it through your day. You can also give yourself a better chance of resisting emotional eating by using a timer.
Coach Erin Darling explains
Another option is to lean into the feelings behind the craving, but give yourself a better choice. If you’re craving sweets, a small piece of dark chocolate can satisfy the urge while not offsetting your nutritional goals.
You can also look for flavor in different ways.
Coach Julia Pontones explains:
Mindless and emotional eating can happen to everyone. We seek the easy blood sugar surge to feel better in the short-term without considering what’s behind the eating.
The benefits of a healthy diet go beyond weight – it allows you to thrive. To get your mindless eating under control, work to incorporate meal planning into your day, and work through your emotional triggers with a coach.
If you want more support with eating habits and meal planning, schedule a 1:1 video chat with a LIVE TaskHuman coach today.