It’s not always possible to eat your meals and snacks at the dinner table, but when you eat on the run or while doing something else, you’re more likely to consume extra calories. To prevent weight gain, avoid munching in these five places.
Standing in the Kitchen
When you meander into the kitchen for a quick bite, you’re surrounded by food, so no wonder you end up eating way more than you anticipated. The worst is eating while standing in front of an open fridge or cupboard, or chomping straight out of the package since it’s difficult to keep track of just how many chips you’ve eaten. If you’re hungry for a snack or meal, prepare an appropriate portion size in a bowl or on a plate, and sit down at the table to enjoy it.
In the Car
Eating on the run is never a good idea. Quick food that is made to “grab and go” tends to be high in calories, and when you eat while driving, you often inhale food quickly to avoid having a hand off of the steering wheel. You’re also so busy watching the road that you don’t watch how much food you’re actually eating. If you must eat in the car, pack healthy snacks and meals so you know exactly how many calories you’re consuming.
In Front of the TV
Television commercials are brutal when it comes to your appetite. All those ads for cheesy pizzas, hamburgers, nachos, wings, and desserts really do inspire late-night snacks. No wonder you head to the kitchen and bring back bags of chips, pints of ice cream, and chocolate bars. There’s nothing wrong with a snack in front of the boob tube, just make sure you’re not mindlessly munching on endless calories. Measure out a serving and keep the rest in the kitchen.
At Your Desk
This is such a tough habit to break, especially if you have a demanding nine-to-fiver and need to work through your lunch break. This is similar to eating in the car or in front of the TV. You’re busy working and aren’t paying attention to what you’re eating, and before you know it, you’ve devoured an entire plate of food within minutes. When you eat quickly and don’t pay attention to each bite, your brain doesn’t register how much you’ve actually eaten, so you end up feeling hungry instead of satiated, which translates to reaching for more food. If you can, take at least 15 minutes away from your desk to eat your meal or snack, and be sure not to tempt yourself by keeping packages of food and treats in your desk drawer.
There are a few reasons people eat in bed, but whether you’re feeling sick, being pampered, or just feeling a little lazy, eating in bed isn’t always a good thing. It encourages mindless eating and creates a less-than-hygienic sleep area. Avoid eating in bed by having a satisfying dinner at the table, and if need be, eat a small bowl of fresh fruit a couple hours before you hit the hay to ward off late-night hunger pangs.
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