Nutrition: Mindful Eating

Five tips for how to control your appetite.

Appetite and hunger are mainly controlled by the hormones leptin and ghrelin. By sending signals to the brain, leptin and ghrelin tell the body and mind that you are eating and digesting. Unfortunately, this hormone production process takes about 20 minutes. Because of this delay it can be easy to continue eating before realizing you were satisfied ten bites ago. Here are a few tips to bring mindfulness to your meals and help the brain out during those 20 minutes.

  1. Put your eating utensil down between bites. This allows you to fully chew your food instead of powering through your meal.
  2. Eliminate distractions while eating. This lets you appreciate your meal and focus on the different flavors and textures instead of mindlessly eating in front of a screen.
  3. Use a smaller plate. When switching from a 12-inch plate to a 10-inch plate, people consumed 22 percent less calories because the plate looked fuller with a smaller amount of food.
  4. Drink water or another calorie-free beverage with every meal. Take sips between bites to stay hydrated and promote your satiation.
  5. Avoid eating out of boredom. Sometimes there’s nothing to do, so you decide to raid the pantry. Practice mindfulness by asking yourself if you are really hungry next time you want a late night snack.


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