MMB – Are You a Mindless Eating Machine?

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  I hope you are all doing well and have been moving and eating clean out there!  Excellent effort by everyone who made it out to classes this past week.  Keep up the great work guys and you will see the fruit of your labor in every day life as you get stronger and more capable! 

Announcements and Reminders:

1) Cardio Core at Jen’s Studio on Tuesday:  There is currently 1 opening at 5:45pm for 60 minute class and 1 opening for the 7:35pm 30 minute class.  Please text or e-mail me if you are interested in signing up! 

2) Fall Movement Mania #6 is this Saturday!  Please plan on coming a few minutes earlier to weigh in and get measured, or plan on staying a few minutes afterward to get measured.  Let’s rack up those exercise minutes this week and turn into miles to travel on your map!  Let’s find out who get to travel the farthest and who the biggest reducers are! 

3) Halloween Boo Camp is ALSO Saturday!  In addition to the last day of the Fall Movement Mania, its’ also Halloween Boo Camp!  Come dressed up in your favorite costume and enter a costume contest.  Prizes are involved, so you don’t wan to miss out!  I’m also doing another canned food drive to support the Valley Bible Food Pantry, so please bring those canned food items and enter a drawing for more prizes! 

4) Santa Rosa Fire Victims Donations – This Saturday is ALSO the last day I’m collecting donations because I’ll be heading up to Santa Rosa later on Saturday.  You can drop off items to me this week in class or at my house on the porch.  Thank you so much for all of your donations!  Gift cards are also welcome, especially any iTunes gift cards so that I could give them to my cousin’s coworker, who is a musician and lost all of his collection.

5)  Running Boot Camp is this Sunday, October 29th at 11am! Note the time change.  Class meets at Jen’s house and travels around the sports park for a 5K distance combined with strength and core drills!  Beginners are welcomed.


Thought for the week:  Are you a mindless eating machine?

Did that get your attention?  LOL!  O.k. what is Jen talking about now?  So, there is this whole connection between what’s going on in your brain and when you lift up your fork to eat.  Sometimes there’s nobody home upstairs and the fork magically and mysteriously continues to shovel food into your mouth.  After a while, you come to your senses and realize that the entire bag of chips that was on the counter is now empty.  That’s amazing!  Who stole your chips!  Then, this little voice inside your head raises its’ hand and confesses the guilt of the crime.  Sigh.

So, how can we avoid being a mindless eating machine?  First of all, realize that you are not alone and this happens to all of us from time to time.  Come on admit it. Have you ever been totally engrossed in a thrilling movie with a bucket of warm, buttery popcorn on your lap and you are shoveling in the popcorn by the fistfuls with reckless abandon?   Or, have you every been at your desk and decide to have a working lunch, so you are working and eating at the same time?  Trust me, you are going to be more focused on your work tasks than what’s happening between your fork and your mouth. 

When we succumb to mindless eating, there is a huge disconnect between our food, our mental state, and if we are hungry or not.  Are you familiar with the hunger scale?  The scale that is between 1 to 10, with 1 being super hungry and 10 being totally stuffed?  We should be aware of hunger pain starting at about 3 or 4 with the trigger to eat something, and we should be putting the breaks on the fork to mouth around 6 or 7. 

When we have lost the connection between the mind and body, we aren’t aware of the hunger scale and miss all of the clues that our bodies give us.  When your metabolism is functioning properly, you should start to feel hungry about every three hours.  If you are a highly active person, then you may feel hunger pains closer to 2 to 2 1/2 hours.  If you are more sedentary, you can stretch is to 4 hours max.  Those hunger pains are your friend and they tell you that your body is running low on fuel and it’s time to eat something nutrient dense to give your cells what they need to function properly. 

If 5 or 6 hours have gone by and you feel totally fine without any hunger pains, this is probably an indication that your metabolism is sluggish and not working properly. When we deprive our body of fuel, the body holds on to the fat it already has and slows everything in your body down to conserve energy.  Are you a person who skips breakfast?  Are you having difficulties losing weight?  If you want to speed up your metabolism, you must eat breakfast…period.  When we are overweight, it’s not a fat problem, it’s a metabolism problem. 

Why does mindless eating happen?  Food is wonderful quick fix if you are sad, lonely, bored, frustrated, filled with anxiety, etc.  So, if we are feeling sad, we find ourselves browsing through the pantry looking for a sweet treat to fix the emotion and bring some comfort.  We aren’t eating because we are hungry and therein lies the problem.  This is how we sabotage our exercise, by consuming way too many extra calories that we are eating mindlessly and using food as a tool to fix our problems.

So, how can we be more aware of mindless eating?

  1.  Ask Questions– Before you reach for food, ask yourself if you feel hungry?  Do you have hunger pains?  How long ago did you eat?  How are you feeling?  If you are truly hungry, something like a carrot is going to sound more appealing than a piece of chocolate.  If you are only craving something sweet, then go through the questions in your mind to ask why. By the way, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a sweet treat every now and then!  Balance is part of life.  What I’m talking about is when sweets become a crutch to manage your emotions and leads to mindless eating that packs on the calories and pounds. 
  2. Drink a big glass of water and wait five minutes.  Are you still craving chocolate?
  3. Emotion check in:  If you are bored, get busy with your hands and find something to do.  If you are lonely, pick up the phone and call or text a friend you havne’t spoken to in a while.  Are you sad?  Tap into the things that make you happy.  Listen to music you enjoy, flip through old photos, go outside and garden, or make something delicious in the kitchen. 
  4. Instead of eating, get moving.  Go outside and take a walk for 20 minutes.  You’ll be so happy you did and you’ll have a mental conquer that will give you confidence for the rest of your day!

Enjoy your day and see you in class soon!