Avoiding Mindless Eating

These tips can make it easier for you to make healthful food choices and avoid overeating:

• If you shop for groceries at big-box stores, repackage large containers of food into smaller packages. You are likely to take smaller portions from smaller packages.


• Keep less of a variety of foods in your refrigerator and pantry (you will snack and eat less).

• Use smaller serving dishes and serving utensils.

• Serve yourself 20% percent less of an entrée than you think you might eat.

• Serve yourself 20% more vegetables than you usually consume.

• Clean and prepare fruits and vegetables so they are ready to eat when you’re hungry. Place them at eye level in the refrigerator.

• Keep hummus, low-fat ranch dressing, or a yogurt-based dip available to serve with vegetables and fruit.

• Store unhealthy snacks in a cupboard or drawer that is difficult to reach.

• Serve vegetables and salad at the dining table, family-style, while leaving high-calorie entrées and side dishes in the kitchen.

• At a buffet, limit yourself to filling only one plate with everything you want to eat.

• Keep the bones of chicken wings on your plate as you eat; this will help you keep track of how much you have eaten.

Adapted from Mindless Eating, by Brian Wansink, PhD, Bantam, 2006.