Often a new year brings resolutions to get healthy, eat better and lose weight. As most of us know, this is much easier said than done. It becomes more difficult when we have issues with challenging work schedules, numerous child care responsibilities and that office candy bowl that is so tempting. Mindless eating can sabotage our resolve, so what can we do about it?
“Most of us don’t overeat because we’re hungry,” said Brian Wansink, Ph.D., author of the best-selling book Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think and the John Dyson Professor of Consumer Behavior at Cornell University. “We overeat because of family and friends, packages and plates, names and numbers, labels and lights, colors and candles, shapes and smells, distractions and distances, cupboards and containers.”
He attributes rising overweight and obesity rates in America to the availability of food, the affordability of food and the attractiveness of food. The solution, however, is not to make food less available, affordable or attractive, he says. “The solution is to change your personal environment,” Wansink said.
Mindless eating is defined as deliberately paying attention, being fully aware of what is happening both inside and outside yourself – in your body, heart and mind – and outside yourself, in your environment.
Wansink made the following suggestions for changing our thought process and our environment to improve our resolution success and create better long-term eating patterns:
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