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Curbing mindless eating

December 3, 2020

Do you find yourself sitting on the couch, mindlessly staring at the television and reaching into a bag of chips or box of cookies? Mindless snacking and mindless eating can cause you to consume a large number of calories in a short amount of time. If you’ve noticed the numbers on the scale climbing and are unsure why, mindless eating could have something to do with it. Our tips can help you overcome this habit.

Visual cues

Various experiments have tested the theory that relying on external, visual cues when eating is more effective than relying on internal cues. For instance, participants eating from a bottomless bowl of soup that refilled as they ate consumed more soup yet did not report feeling fuller than their counterparts who ate a set serving size. A similar experiment was conducted using chicken wings. Seeing the chicken bones as they accumulated helped individuals eat less. A meaningful lesson is to be learned from these experiments: visual reminders of how much you’ve eaten can help you remain mindful of what you’ve eaten. 

Portion size

Take a look at the portion sizes you are consuming. Typically, when individuals serve themselves, they eat most of the food on their plate. Giving yourself smaller servings, or using smaller plates to make the servings look larger, can help you control mindless overeating. 

Don’t buy trigger foods

Do you have specific trigger foods that you know you can easily overeat? Avoid the temptation to overeat by simply not buying them or hiding them in the pantry. If the goodies are hidden, the concept of “out of sight, out of mind” applies.

Limit variety

Sensory-specific satiety is the idea that our senses become numb to repeat exposure of the same flavor. If a new food is introduced, our appetite is restored. This phenomenon, which mainly applies to junk foods, reinforces the idea that having a wide variety of foods in one meal can cause you to overeat. This especially comes into play at get-togethers, like holiday parties, and buffet-style eating. Avoid mindlessly eating by stick to one or two dishes. 

Avoid convenient eating

Individuals typically snack more when they have easy access to snacks, such as a drawer of quick, easy foods in their desk at work. On the contrary, individuals are less likely to overeat if they have to prepare the snack and sit at the table to consume it. Preparing the food can be a deterrent to some, and it makes others think twice about whether they are truly hungry, or if they just want to snack mindlessly. 

Practice mindful eating

This may seem like a no-brainer, but the best way to curb mindless eating is by embracing mindful eating. You can do this by eating slowly, taking your time as you chew each bite, thinking about and savoring the flavor and texture of each bite of food, and setting down your utensil between each bite. Slowing down the eating process allows your brain time to process if you are truly full. You can even try eating with your non-dominant hand to really slow down the process. Be sure you also eat at the table, rather than mindlessly tuning into the television. 

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Important Lap-Band® System Safety Information

The ReShape Lap-Band Systems are approved for adults with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or a BMI of at least 30 with health conditions related to obesity, who have not seen success with other weight loss methods, like supervised diet, exercise, and behavior modification programs. Choosing this surgery means committing to changes in eating habits for the long term.

The Lap-Band procedure is not approved for individuals under 18 yo, those with conditions that may make them poor surgical candidates or lead to poor results, such as inflammatory or cardiopulmonary diseases, problems with the stomach and digestion, symptoms or family history of autoimmune disease, scarring of the liver, individuals unable or unwilling to follow the necessary dietary restrictions, individuals with alcohol or drug addictions, or those currently pregnant. Individuals who become pregnant after band placement may require deflation of their bands.

The ReShape Lap-Band Systems, a long-term tool, may need to be adjusted if you get pregnant, sick, or malnourished. Be careful with anti-inflammatory drugs as they could make the band wear away. Like any surgery, placement of the Lap-Band may have complications such as risks from drugs and methods used, general surgery risks, how well your body handles a foreign object, or in rare cases, risk of death.

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with metabolic and bariatric surgery that you and your doctor should discuss. Potential risks associated with the Lap-Band include nausea, vomiting, heartburn, stomach blockage, constipation, swallowing difficulty, diarrhea, abnormal stools, abdominal pain, weakness, incision pain, infection, fever, hernia, chest pain, band movement, stomach pouch expansion, unusual healing, pain at the port site, port movement, and/or hair loss. Additional surgery might be needed. Losing weight quickly could lead to complications requiring more surgery. 

Talk to your doctor, and/or visit our website at for more information on its benefits and risks.