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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 Lap-Band System is indicated for weight reduction for patients with obesity, with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 40 kg/m2 or a BMI of at least 30 kg/m2 with one or more obesity-related comorbid conditions. It is indicated for use only in adult patients who have failed more conservative weight reduction alternatives, such as supervised diet, exercise and behavior modification programs. Patients who elect to have this surgery must make the commitment to accept significant changes in their eating habits for the rest of their lives.

The Lap-Band System is not recommended for non-adult patients (patients under 18 years of age), patients with conditions that may make them poor surgical candidates or increase the risk of poor results, who are unwilling or unable to comply with the required dietary restrictions, or who currently are or may be pregnant.

The Lap-Band System is a long-term implant. Explant and replacement surgery may be required. Patients who become pregnant or severely ill, or who require more extensive nutrition may require deflation of their bands. Anti-inflammatory agents, such as aspirin, should be used with caution and may contribute to an increased risk of band erosion.

Placement of the Lap-Band System is major surgery and, as with any surgery, death can occur. Possible complications include the risks associated with the medications and methods used during surgery, the risks associated with any surgical procedure, and the patient’s ability to tolerate a foreign object implanted in the body. Most common related adverse events include: Band slippage, pouch dilation, stoma obstruction, gastroesophageal reflux, esophageal dilation, cholelithiasis, incisional infection, abdominal pain, gastroenteritis, or nausea and vomiting may occur. Reoperation may be required. Rapid weight loss may result in complications that may require additional surgery. Deflation of the band may alleviate excessively rapid weight loss or esophageal dilation.

Important: For full safety information please click here or talk with your doctor.