By Melissa Buscetta RD CDN

Measuring-SpoonsStudies show that the average person makes around 250 decisions about food every day – breakfast or no breakfast? Bagel or apple? Part of it or all of it? Kitchen or living room?

Most people don’t overeat because they are hungry, but rather they are influenced by external factors such as social events, smells, places, portion sizes, mood, etc. Below are some tips to help you combat mindless eating:

Tip #1 – Track food

The best way to stay accountable to food is to track everything. It may seem tedious at first, but it is especially helpful in the beginning and, when you fall off track, to take stock of the food you’re consuming in order to move back towards your weight loss goals. Tracking food helps you make a true educated decision before eating. It can stop you from sabotaging your hard work due to mindless snacking. For example: someone brings a bowl of candy into work, but before you take a piece, you decide to plug it into the BariApp to see if it aligns with the goals you have set for yourself. Some people find it helpful to track food before they eat, which allows them to choose not to if it’s not worth the extra calories. It may help you feel confident and in control of your diet for not giving into mindless eating.

Tip #2 – Have the right tools

Mindless eating happens when you’re not paying attention to portions and serving sizes. The best way to learn both is to start measuring and weighing the food you eat to understand what a serving size looks like. The tools I recommend are: measuring cups (liquid and dry), measuring spoons, and a food scale. All three of these tools will give you a better understanding of serving sizes and food portions. You’ll recognize that if you eat more than what’s measured, you may be eating too much.

Tip #3 – Stay hydrated

Water is a huge component to weight loss. Water keeps you hydrated, satisfied, and your system moving. Often, what’s mistaken for hunger is really your body saying it’s thirsty. Drinking 64 ounces of water a day may be hard for some people. Purchasing a water bottle to have on you at all times can help you track the amount of water you’re drinking. When you’re hydrated you feel more focused and energized. Prioritizing water helps prevent feeling tired, sluggish or in a brain fog.

Each of these tips will bring organization, structure, and peace so you can focus on creating a healthier lifestyle that keeps you aware of mindless eating.

Melissa Buscetta is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who is currently working with Bariatric and Medical Weight Management patients. She is very enthusiastic about teaching others how to live a healthier life before and after bariatric surgery.