This is a direct quote from my 9 year old son last week. He was enjoying an afternoon snack of cashews, while not enjoying his homework.


I walked through the room, he broke out of his trance, looked up at me accusingly, and asked about the cashews. After reminding him that he was the only one in the room before I walked in, he realized that he had eaten all of the cashews himself.


Has this ever happened to you? I'm guessing at one time we have all fallen victim to the dreaded Mindless Eating.


According to WebMD, mindless eating can cause you to eat 25-50% more calories! To put that into perspective, if you ate an extra 20% in calories per day you would gain 40 pounds in a year. Imagine if you are on the higher end of that mindless eating scale...


I fell victim to this during the Super Bowl. I got caught up watching Katie Perry dressed up as Bam Bam Bigelow riding that thing from Voltron. Shout out to my fellow kids of the 80's. I looked down about the time Missy Elliot came out and I had eaten a sandwich in the melee. I'm assuming I enjoyed it.


For all my fellow Katy Perry fans, here are 4 tips for avoiding mindless eating.


1. Eat slower

If your sole focus on the meal is speed, you will eat much more than you intend to. It takes about 15 minute for your stomach to tell your brain that it is full. If you only have a short amount of time to eat your meal, plan ahead and make smart food choices.


2. Be “in the moment” when eating

By this, I mean don't be watching TV, reading, on Facebook (I'm the worst about that at lunch time), etc... while you eat. Focus on chewing and enjoying your food.


3. Be aware of emotional eating

This could be an entire book's worth of information for this one. But the main thing is to start becoming aware of the effect your emotions have on your eating habits. Create awareness by keeping a journal of what you eat and how you are feeling at meal time.


4. Don’t eat straight out of the box or bag

You will find yourself continuing to eat on autopilot if you have the box or bag in arm's reach. Take a reasonable portion out of the container, put it on your plate, and then put the container up. This will save you a ton of mindless calories.