On the journey to reaching your goal weight, there are a number of roadblocks that can pop up and seriously sabotage your best intentions. Distracted eating is one of the worst offenders. This sneaky little form of amnesia happens when you start snacking, mentally get caught up in something- a TV show, a conversation, work- and suddenly you are on the last row of that family sized block of hazelnut chocolate with no recollection of having eaten that much.
The solution? When you are indulging in your treat food of choice, practice what is called a mindfulness exercise. This involves deciding ahead of time what portion you are happy with that won’t leave to overwhelming feelings of guilt afterwards, and then set aside a time, preferably when you aren’t ravenously hungry, and when you are without distractions and so can dedicated 100% of your attention to the task at hand. That task of course, is the absolute, utter, maximum enjoyment of each and every little bite of that delicious morsel sitting before you. Take a tiny bite and notice the texture. Does it crunch? Melt? Crumble? Sit it on your tongue without chewing and let the flavour slowly curl it’s way across your taste buds. Now roll it around on your tongue, and chew just once. Experience every single sensation that one small bite has to offer, prolonging the time it spends in your mouth as long as possible before swallowing. And repeat. When you get to the end of your treat portion, five minutes may have passed instead of twenty seven seconds, and you’ll find your feelings of gratification are so much higher than if you had unconsciously devoured mass quantities. You can feel proud knowing you have allowed yourself that special little treat, really enjoyed it, and haven’t irreparably damaged your calorie count for the week. Our brains tend to crave something so much more when we deny ourselves, so you can use this little trick to give in to your temptations now and then. You’ll be much happier following a healthy eating plan long term if you allow yourself the occasional indulgence, rather than deny yourself all of your favourite foods.