1st September 2007

Avoid Eating Mindlessly

posted in The Daily Diet by Trisha

One of the leading causes of weight problems is that often we don’t stop to think about what we’re eating. We may have a perception that we’re eating healthy, but without any real knowledge of exactly how many calories we’re consuming, or precisely what those calories are composed of – fats, sugars, protein, etc.

Yesterday I was reading this very interesting article posted at WebMD and realized that I was one of those guilty of the very same thing. On occasion when I’m out running errands and hungry, I’ll stop at a Subway to get what I consider to be a healthier alternative to the usual burgers-and-fries fast food fare, and then proud of myself for my choice (and with the thought that I’ve consumed fewer calories), I’ll indulge in a cookie or other treat. Yikes!

Another choice made often mindlessly? Alcohol. While studies show that a glass or two of red wine has several health benefits, it also has on average over 120 calories per glass. And many people don’t realize that while some of the alcohol you consume is converted the fat, the rest is converted to acetate, which your body uses as fuel in place of fat. Which means that the more alcohol you consume, the less efficiently your body can burn the fat you consume, which leads to weight gain (unless you are highly active every day).

I’m not advocating giving up alcohol, or forever swearing off all fast food (even the healthier alternatives), but I do think that if you’re trying to lose weight (or just maintain a healthy weight) it would be wise to be aware of how many calories you are eating from all your daily sources. Keep a food log and write down everything you eat or drink, then look up the calorie and nutrition content online to help you find ways you can modify your diet to stay within your recommended daily calorie intake.

Turn “mindless eating” into “mindful eating” and you’re much more likely to succeed with your diet!

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