If you put it on your plate you eat it.

If you put it on your plate you eat it.

If you put it on your plate you eat it.

This was the mindset I was raised in. I also came from the understanding that expiration dates are mere suggestions, you don’t waste food ever, leftovers are king for days, and days, and did I mention you don’t waste food ever? I choked down a lot of dried out and over-nuked meals. However, I never have been able to chew through anything stale. Bread, chips, crackers just will not make it across my palate.

But did you know about The Stale Popcorn Experiment? The experiment asked two groups of people to watch a movie after lunch. Half of the group was given three-day old stale popcorn in a medium bucket. The other half was given a large bucket of three-day old stale popcorn. The leftover popcorn was weighed and it was determined that those with a medium bucket at 53% less popcorn than those with the larger bucket. Here’s the breakdown of the findings!

  • We eat mindlessly even when we are not hungry. Remember this experiment took place after lunch!
  • We eat mindlessly even with poor food quality. People! This was three-day old stale popcorn! We are talking packing peanuts at this point!
  • We eat more when we are preoccupied. They were in a dark theater unable to see how much they were eating.
  • We eat more from a larger container. A big plate or bowl feels like it needs more food on it before it appears full. It takes longer to notice how much we have eaten from a big container as we need to consume more food before we see a difference on the plate or bowl.

I think we can all relate to mindless eating. How many times have I stood in front of my pantry trying to figure out what to make for dinner and start nibbling (shoving) random things in my mouth. Or watching a TV or a movie at home and I take the entire box of Cheezits with me only to see at the end of the movie I consumed not one or two servings but the entire stinking box.

If you are tired of chasing the added weight around, we must consider how we’ve become mindless eaters but also when we develop mindless habits. We need to push pause on the mindless choosing and the temptation mindlessness provides for an escape from having to figure out yet another complicated part of life.

This year through Community Strong we want to emphasize how just small changes over time can have a powerful impact on our health and wellbeing. We will talk about how we can all get one step closer each day to living abundant lives through healthier lives. We want to simplify this journey with you.

So, just for the next week consider this one experiment on your 2019 health adventure.

Practice a small moment of mindfulness: I know its trendy and can seem kind of out there, but take some time and practice small moments of mindfulness instead of constantly pushing through each busy day. Take notice of your natural instinct to finish eating when you stop being hungry. Take note of the quality of food you are consuming. Is it dollar menu time or are you eating things that show just how important you are to our community? Are you rewarding yourself with food when you feel upset, sad, or stressed or are you rewarding yourself with seriously good times with friends and family? Are you constantly distracting yourself with phones, computers, and tv so it blocks out your internal cues?

Remember healthy habits are not restrictions but steps to more days of great adventure!

I would love to hear what small steps you are taking to get one step closer each day to a healthier you!