Sunday, April 6, 2008

How to Stop Your Mindless Eating

By following this exercise, you can control your mindless eating. I recently listened to a talk on emotional eating by Colleen Cannon PhD, R Psych and Wendy Shah, RD, and you can change your eating behaviours by changing your thoughts and emotions.

Step 1: First grab a pen and paper. Consider what thoughts and emotions (feelings) influence our eating behaviours. Make a list of 20 reasons of why you eat.

Step 2: Now, divide each of reasons into one of 3 categories: 1. Stomach - this would be physiological reasons for eating ie. hunger. 2. Mouth - this is when your craving a specific food or texture ie. eating ice cream on a hot day. 3. Heart - this is all the emotional reasons (probably what most of your list is) ie. bored, angry, celebration with friends, etc.

Step 3: List 6 things you do to comfort or nuture yourself.

Step 4: Cross out all items that include any food, are in the distant future (ie. vacation you have in 2 months), and anything that takes a significant amount of time or money. Hopefully, you have something left on your list. These items should be something you can do to comfort/nuture yourself quickly instead of eating. For example, after a difficult work day instead going for your favourite comfort food, use something off your list like going for walk.

Step 5: Write down the intials of 3 people that mean a lot to you.

Step 6: Write down their birthday or phone number as quickly as possible. What did you think about as you writing? Getting that number down, right? Hence, any type of mind game can be a perfect distraction.

Step 7: If your list of 6 items is all crossed out or even if its not, brainstorm again for some distractions. Your list may include talking to a friend, listening to music, reading a book, some sort of activity, being outdoors, crosswords, or other mindgames.
Now you the tools to turn your mindless eating into mind full eating by using distractions to change your behaviours, thoughts, and emotions. For more information, check out Craving Change's upcoming website at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think that my "mindless eating" is getting out of control. I hope that these tips will help, otherwise I may need some one-on-one counselling. Seriously, it's that bad. Brett