Why You Should Be a Mindful Eater

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Originally posted on June 19, 2014.

We’ve all experienced the pleasure and subsequent pain of mindless eating. Just sit in front of the TV, open a bag of chips, and watch your favorite show. Now do the same thing with the TV off. In which situation did you eat more?

Mindless eating made Brian Wansink a household name. This guy’s research oozes coolness. Need proof? Just watch this video to see how he made people guzzle quarts (yes, quarts!) of soup by having them spoon it out of a bottomless bowl. It won him the 2007 Ig Nobel Prize.

If mindless eating makes us unhealthy, would mindful eating make us healthier? According to a recent study, Yes. People who practiced mindful eating, compared those who did not, ate healthier foods and had healthier weights.

At your next meal, don’t agonize over every bite. But also avoid putting your brain on cruise control. A healthy awareness and attention to the food we eat can motivate use to use the highest quality food to fuel our brains and bodies.

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About the Author
C. Nathan DeWall is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Social Psychology Lab at the University of Kentucky. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from St. Olaf College, a Master’s Degree in Social Science from the University of Chicago, and a Master’s degree and Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Florida State University. DeWall received the 2011 College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teaching Award, which recognizes excellence in undergraduate and graduate teaching. In 2011, the Association for Psychological Science identified DeWall as a “Rising Star” for “making significant contributions to the field of psychological science.”