Bariatric Support Series Part 8

#8: Keep Mindlessness in Mind

Challenge Review

If you accepted my challenge last session, for the last two weeks you have been consciously thinking about your hunger sensations each time you sit down to eat. Did you notice different sensations that allowed you to identify if you were really hungry or experiencing false hunger?  I would like to hear from you about what you experienced so I would love it if you would send me feedback on your experiences in the comment box below.

Can you identify false hunger? Are you unsure? Let me know and I can offer more guidance if you need it.

Simple Ways To Outsmart Our Mind

So today we are going to try to understand more about what true hunger is in order to not eat when we have false hunger. We are going to talk about things that can cause false hunger and take away some strategies for dealing with it. As we talked about last session, many of the things you have learned to do work counter to our goal of weight loss or maintaining our weight.  To outsmart our own minds we want to develop some new habits that will help avoid some false hunger triggers.  We need to undo some of the triggers that have conditioned us to eat.

Along with hormonal signals, your brain needs visual feedback to help it decide when to stop eating. Visual feedback such as how much food on a plate can help with stopping eating sooner.  Use smaller plates and spread food evenly on a plate instead of mounding food on top of itself.

One habit to work on is not clearing dishes away between courses especially if they contain evidence of what was once on them. This may cause you to want to eat more of the food that was on the dishes.  Once you are satisfied with your meal immediately put away the food so that you are not tempted to eat more. Don’t keep problem food in sight. No bowls on the counters or snack foods in cupboards where you may see them while looking for something else. Making sure that trigger foods are not readily accessible is very important to prevent snacking.

The more inconvenient or the more steps are involved in eating the more opportunities you have to become mindful about what you are doing instead of acting on impulse.  So keeping food out of the house so you have to go to the grocery store to buy them is important to prevent mindless eating of them. One thing that is really worth understanding –is the myth of “health food” labels.  Even though food may be labeled as healthy it is important to read the actual gram amount of food.  For example a food that is high in fiber it is 20% or more of the daily value.  For fiber it is 5 gms or more.  Good source is 10-19% of the daily value or 2.5-4.9 grams of fiber. Actually reading the nutrition facts is important over seeing the key word of “good Source” because it may not really be a good source of a nutrient.

Session Eight Challenge

So this gives us plenty of things to try over the next two weeks to remove visual cues that can trigger false hunger.  Let’s make a list and you can try a few to see if you have less instances of snacking and overeating.

  • Clean of all the counters and keep them clear of food.
  • Don’t watch TV or use your computer, tablet, or smartphone when you eat – stay aware of every bite.
  • Hide all the snacks in your house or better yet –don’t buy any this week (and next).
  • Brush your teeth as soon as you think you have eaten enough and when you are in a tempting situation
  • Create a short list of things you have to do.
  • When you feel false hunger grab your list and complete one of the tasks.

I am looking forward to hearing about your experience – see you next time.