How many times have you eaten and not even realized what you ate or better yet, how much?   As a student of eating behavior, I encourage people to “eat with their lights on” (and that means someone is home).  In the dark crevices of your day there may be a mini-candy bar or two, a handful of jelly beans, a half-bag of Sunchips and a dollop of heavy whipped cream in your coffee.  It all creates an excess…and that can mean one thing: weight gain – if you are not actively burning up the extra energy.  So turn the lights even in the smallest of eating moments…

Let’s face it food takes us to a different place, at least temporarily.  That’s not always a bad thing — as rekindling that feeling of grandma’s brownies or mom’s apple pie or family meals is perfectly life enhancing.  It’s when, we eat often without intention or purpose that weight and health can spiral out of control. 

Here are some simple switches you can flip to create a more mindful, well-lit eating path for life.

  • Allow eating to hold special, sacred moments in your day — carve out time when you eat only (and don’t do other things like watch TV or work on your computer or talk on the phone).
  • Sit down and savor.  Use your eating time as a break from standing, walking and running to/from places.  Create a kitchen nook, a work place table or window side seat for a nutritious respite in your day.
  • Choose what you eat like you choose other important things in your life.  Think about your most prizes possessions, i.e., your car, home, clothes, shoes, or spouse.  What you eat reflects your personality,style and health intentions –  so choose your food with respect and love for yourself.
  • Break bread together.  Share your favorite food with family, friends and your community.  Research has shown that when people cook, eat and enjoy food together they live happier, healthier and longer lives.   

So whenever you want to eat in the dark, at least light a candle — it will spark some good eating intention.