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Mindless Eating and Eating Triggers

by Dave on March 13, 2009

Over the last 10 weeks of using Flexible Intermittent Fasting to lose weight, I have become more aware of certain mindless eating habits I had, which I no longer do, or at least are more controlled. I think of many of them as eating triggers. Let me give you an example of one.

If I drink coffee with milk and one sugar, I will not just drink it on its own, I will put it with a chocolate biscuit, something  like a 2 finger kit kat. Same would apply with a cup of tea with milk, I always put something with it. For me simply changing to black coffee is all it took to change this habit, I don’t have the same desire to eat something with a black coffee. I am quite happy to just drink the coffee.Changing from tea with milk, to a herbal or fruit tea also has  had the same effect. I estimate based on drinking on average 4 to 6 cups of either tea or coffee per day I was consuming 600 calories per day from mindless eating. Even taking this over 5 days as on weekends I do enjoy my cafe lattes I have  saved  around 3000 calories per week , just by making one simple switch.I know now that the only reason was doing it was habit, not because I was hungry, or even really wanted a biscuit, but just because that is what I did.

This is one of the areas that using intermittent fasting has helped me to change some mindless eating habits. During your fast, you only consume liquids with zero calories, so water, black coffee, black or herbal tea . I became aware on the days I was fasting that I was not missing the sugar snack at all. I am not saying you would have to be using intermittent fasting to find this out, we are all different, but in my case it did.

The main reason we gain weight is because we simply under estimate the number of calories we eat, this one example I give here , shows I was consuming at least an extra 3000 calories a week , that I now don’t miss. If those 3000 calories are above my base level of calories, I am gaining over 3lbs per month .Take a look at your own daily eating habits, do you see anything there that you are doing because of mindless eating ?.

To lose weight we have to eat less calories than we do now, if we become more aware of what or why we eat, then this process becomes easier. You do not need to give up the foods you love to lose weight. Intermittent Fasting once or twice per week , not only helps you reduce your calories but will also help you become more aware of your own eating triggers, so you can adjust these on the days when you are eating normally.

We all know we are meant to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, but in my own experience  it is the calories from mindless eating that are the problem, not the overall way I eat. The problem with going on a diet is we follow the plan for a few weeks, but then we stop , and the same mindless eating habits remain. Funny how as a Retired Dieter I have lost more weight not been on  a diet , than I ever did going on one. Feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments. Comments are moderated only to stop spam.
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