We’re all found ourselves mindlessly munching in front of the TV or computer, grabbing a donut from the office break room without even thinking about it, helping the kids “clean their plates” or stress-eating during a deadline. Yet, studies suggest that eating more slowly and thoughtfully may actually help you make healthier food choices. This is called mindful eating, when you bring your full attention to the ritual of eating and enjoying the flavors and experience. Listening to your body’s cues can help you learn when you’re eating because you’re actually hungry or purely out of habit or if you’re bored or stressed out. Here’s how you can go from eating mindlessly to eating mindfully:
- Write it down. Using a food journal regularly can help you understand what triggers and situations may cause you to overeat, and over time you can begin to understand these patterns. This is also a place where you can track your Net Carb intake, meals and snacks. It’s your choice whether you want to go old school and write everything down on paper or download the free Atkins Weight Loss App.
- Stay connected. If you haven’t already, join the Atkins Community, where you can learn and share tips for eating more mindfully while living a low carb lifestyle.
- Plan ahead. Temptations lurk everywhere when hunger hits if you haven’t planned your low carb meals and snacks for the day. Plus, regular meals and snacks will help keep your appetite satisfied, so you’re less likely to mindlessly munch or divert to the drive-thru.
- Make your meals special. There’s nothing special about eating dinner while you’re standing at the counter sorting through your junk mail. Take a moment to set the table, light a candle, put away your electronics and savor the flavors of your food so you can truly slow down and enjoy your meal.
- Know when you’ve had enough. It takes your body about 20 minutes to send the signal to your brain that it is full, which is why it’s easy to overeat at times. If you’re still hungry at the end of your meal, drink a big glass of water, go for a walk or do the dishes and then see if your stomach is still growling.
Fortunately, a low carb lifestyle like Atkins gives you an advantage because the powerful combination of optimal protein, high-fiber carbs in the form of vegetables and some whole grains and healthy fats naturally helps you feel more satisfied and able to recognize and control hunger cues.
Slowing down and being mindful about how and what you eat with Atkins have its benefits!