Tribole and Resch describe a whole slew of different "eating styles," each with their own unique eating patterns and difficulties. I recognized myself in the "refuse-not unconscious eater." As they describe, a lot of the times I'm not fully aware about what I am eating, how much I am eating, or my hunger level. I often eat when I'm not hungry and lots of times I eat absentmindedly. If there is food, I eat it. And I will eat it until its gone.
According to Tribole and Resch, this is problematic (and I agree!). Instead, they advocate being mindful of hunger levels, food cravings, what it feels like to eat, and hunger level throughout the meal.
They advocate something so simple--eat when you are hungry and don't eat when you are not hungry. Unfortunately, this is incredibly difficult for me. But, I can see how being more mindful of my eating and hunger would make it easier.
In fact, since I've been reading this book I am astonished to see just how often I eat while paying attention to something else. I eat breakfast while blogging. I eat lunch while working or while I'm in class and snacks might be in front of the tv or while I'm working/in class as well. Lastly, at least a few nights a week I eat dinner in front of the tv or while working. In fact, just last night I realized I was eating dessert while completely engrossed in a novel. By the time I noticed what was going on I was more than half way through and I hadn't even been paying attention enough to enjoy it.
So, instead of just absentmindedly eating all day (which often happens when I am working from home like yesterday), I challenged myself to take a picture of everything I ate. I hoped that this would not only serve as documentation of what I'm eating, but also help me be more mindful about what I eat.
So, without further adieu here is my food intake for Tuesday May 17th.
coffee with almond milk at 7 AM
A mixture of cheerios and some other kind of cereal at 8. Don't make fun of me, but I eat my cereal with water. I know it sounds weird, but I love it.
I ate lunch around 12:30. I started getting hungry by 11:40 probably, but I was so engrossed with my work that I didn't want to stop. When I did eat, I had some leftover strawberry, banana, almond milk smoothie, four veggie corndogs by morning star (yummy), and about a cup of leftover cashew chicken.
Handful of cereal to much on around 3 in the afternoon.
An apple at 4 PM
I ate dinner around 6:30. Neill had band practice so I ate alone. I made a salad with shrimp and tomatoes. I sprinkled some non-fat mozz cheese on there too. On the side, you can see my Annie's Goddess Dressing (so good). I like to dip my fork in the dressing and then pick up my salad instead of mixing it all together.
After dinner I wasn't really satisfied. I was full, but still felt like eating something. So, I had a yogurt that satisfied my sweet tooth.
Late night snack around 10 PM. Nothing beats toast and butter :)
I hate one of these right after my toast.
Taking pictures of everything I ate was certainly an interesting experience! Instead of just eating something right away, I actually found myself questioning whether or not I really wanted it and I think it kept me from eating out of boredom. For example, if I wasn't taking pictures I think I would have had a few more of those pieces of bread with butter. Not because I was hungry, but just because.
So what do you think? Do you ever eat absentmindedly? What does a normal day of eating look like for you? What do you think of my day? What has your experience with trying to change eating habits been like?