Overeating Hot Spots

It’s true, certain places inspire binge eating behaviors more than others. These spots all have one thing in common, they all take your attention away from your food that you are about to consume.

Prime overeating hot spots include movie theaters, malls, sporting events, places with poor lighting (the cookies don’t count if I can’t see them??), your car, and especially that comfortable couch in front of your television set.

Studies show that the best of the best at portion control eat at the dining room table, in a well lit room, away from the television, with preportioned plates. This way the focus is entirely on the meal being consumed and it can be thoroughly enjoyed and fully chewed with time to start digesting in your system. The distractions listed above aid in decreasing your inhibitions about food and overeating. When you separate the eating process from other distractions it will be more difficult to make associations between eating and a certain location, activity or person. If you tend to grab a cinnabun at the mall while shopping, it will surprise you how quickly this can become a habit any time you go shopping. This seemingly small habit can add up in calories fast! Bring the focus back to food and food alone when you are hungry and you will find that the food tastes better, you can gage your satiety level better and be more in control of your eating habits.

My suggestion for weening yourself away from eating while distracted starts at the grocery store. Fill up the fridge and pantry with high density low calorie items such as fruits and vegetables. You can get away with eating five cups of broccoli for roughly one hundred calories and all that fiber is bound to fill you up! Remember this the next time you are tempted to grab a bag of chocolate covered pretzels and watch the ball game – it will save you from a stomach ache and a whole lot of empty calories!

Jessica Hummel, Nutrition Counselor