This Article is About
mindful eating
heart rate monitor
psychology professor
calorie counts
major keys
food choice
portion size
dieters
healthy eating
Mindful Eating May Be As Close As Your Watch
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Mindful Eating May Be As Close As Your Watch

Experts have long touted the advice “watch what you eat.” It sounds simple enough, but too many people are unable to do it for a number of different reaons. They might start off with good intentions but then fall short of their goals. Even people who are resolute about documenting their foods may over or underestimate portion size and calorie counts. Other dieters go into what researchers have dubbed “zombie eating” where they sit and eat whether they are hungry or not and continue eating until the food is gone, even if they were satisfied with far less. Paying more attention to what is going into one’s mouth may be one of the major keys to connect eating to emotion and to finally help with weight loss and more healthy eating.

Researchers have found that people who practice yoga were able to stay connected with their food and their emotions, mindfully eating instead of just eating anything. Middle aged people who practiced yoga, according to the study, gained less weight over a ten year period than those who did not. Overweight adults who started or continued yoga also found it easier to lose weight.

Another option is to take a picture of your food before eating which makes you slow down and really focus on the food choice.

Psychology professor Eric Muth and Electrical and Computer Engineer Professor, Adam Hoover have developed a small, wearable device that they call the Bite Counter. Worn around the wrist like a watch, the Bite Counter is set to track certain, specific wrist motions typically made during eating. The design of the Bite Counter currently being tested allows for the device to be turned on at the start of the meal and then turned back off at the end but does not track information such as calorie counts or actual content of the food. It is 90% accurate with counting bites, however since it could not measure the size of the bites being taken, the information it provides is very general in nature.

But, both Muth and Hoover think that like a heart rate monitor, the Bite Counter can be a useful tool when used as part of an overall weight loss effort. It may not say what the person is eating or how many calories was in the food, but it can say how many bites was taken to finish the meal and that might be enough to get some people thinking. It can also be used in addition to journaling, answering the question “how long did it take to complete this meal”.

More emphasis has been placed on the mind/body connection as it relates to weight loss because researchers are finding more and more that it is not always about what a dieter eats or when they eat it but rather why they do. Once a dieter is better able to recognize triggers and causes for over eating or for bad food choices, they can learn to cope with them better and will have more success in the long run.


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