What is the Definition of Mindless Eating?

Many of us eat foods that our bodies don’t need, and while the odd bit of junk food isn’t going to do endless damage to your body, it’s important to keep our diets in check and make sure we’re having the nutrients we need and the right amounts of certain foods.

Binge eating and mindless eating is something which most of us have done at some point, or at least been tempted to do. This doesn’t mean we’ve gone through extended periods of time where we’ve eaten much more than we could handle, but perhaps you’ve been at a party or sat at home with a take out meal after a break-up, and you’ve eaten and eaten without really thinking.

This is known as mindless eating, and involves eating foods without concentrating on what we’re eating or how much we’re eating.

Is mindless eating always eating junk food?

Mindless eating doesn’t necessarily involve only eating junk food. People think about binge eating and mindless eating and believe it can only happen when you’ve got large quantities of chocolate, crisps, cakes, pizza and other high-carb and sugary foods. However, you can eat anything and not really think about it, and while healthy foods are better to binge on, it’s not necessarily good for you.

What causes mindless eating?

There are many reasons why someone might eat without considering how much they are consuming. When we are sad, eating can bring us comfort, particularly foods we really enjoy (usually junk food). ‘Treating’ ourselves to a take out meal or pizza is commonplace, and when we’re stressed out, many of us like to sit down with our favorite sweet treat to relax in front of the TV. Boredom is also a common cause of mindless eating, and when we eat as well as doing something else, e.g. watching a movie or working at our desks, we’re more likely to eat more than we need.

How can you prevent mindless eating?

In order to stop eating mindlessly, you need to consciously think about only eating when you are actually concentrating on your food. This will stop you snacking on things out of boredom, and you’ll find yourself eating less.

You can also stop eating too much by not buying extra snacks and treats for yourself. Many of us will look in the pantry after a long day at work and will snack on any treats we’ve bought. Don’t buy unhealthy foods, and you won’t be able to snack on them!