Practice mindful eating. Practice mindfulness while eating. Mindfulness is not a diet but a way to be present while eating, break bad habits, and bring awareness to habits around eating. Mindfulness encourages you to know when we are truly full and pay attention to your body’s signals that you are full. The benefit of mindfulness eating is decreases over eating meals as well as desserts.
- To help with mindfulness, try something new. Often we eat the same breakfast, lunch, and dinner on a regular basis. Try to switch it up with new recipes or vegetables and meats you don’t normally eat.
- Pay attention to each bite. This includes looking at your food, enjoying the look, savory each bite, and spending a moment after to enjoy the experience. Turn off the TV and avoid other distractions so you can enjoy each bite.
Take a break before dessert. Your brain needs time to register it is full after a meal. It takes time for the brain to retrieve signals from the digestive hormones. It differs from person to person, but it is recommend to wait 20 to 30 minutes before eating dessert.
Find an alternative activity. If you find that you are craving sweets, try an alternative activity that alleviates your emotional triggers or helps provide that break between a meal and something sweet. If you are bored and you want to grab that bag of candy just to fill the time, try one of these other activities:
- Take a walk
- Try mediation
- Write in a Journal
- Chew sugar-free gum
Limit access. Another strategy for avoiding sweets it to limit access to temptation. This could be removing it completely or putting it out of sight. Research shows that removing items or at least making it harder to access them decreases consumption. It provides more time to think about if you really, really need or want the sweet. You can try:
- Throwing away all sweets and sugar in your house.
- Hide sweet items on the top shelf making it harder to reach.
- Place healthier items in sight, such bowl of fruit on the counter instead of a cookie jar.