Eating is healthy and even a fun activity that provides nourishment to our bodies. But sometimes, eating can become mindless and can lead to weight gain. Here are five steps to practice more mindful eating, so you can stay on track with your healthy lifestyle.

  1. Moderation is Key

    Don’t snack in front of the TV or at the computer, both of which encourage overeating.

  2. Think Healthy

    Choose healthier versions of typical comfort foods like a frozen fruit dessert or smoothie over ice cream. A homemade Spinach Artichoke Dip offers a lower-fat alternative to the cheese-filled classic.

  3. Write it Down

    Use a journal to record any upsetting thoughts when you're stressed and you'll start to relax, recommends Harvard Medical School. Recording your thoughts acknowledges and validates your feelings, so you're less tempted to turn to food.

  4. Create a Distraction

    If you ate recently and you're not truly hungry, find a fun activity to distract you instead of heading to the pantry, recommends the Joslin Diabetes Center. Call a friend or loved one, go on a walk or start that organization project you have been putting off. Not only can an activity entertain you, but it can sometimes relieve stress! And who doesn’t need that?

  5. Get Your Heart Pumping

    Regular exercise isn't just great for your body; it benefits your mind, too. Aerobic exercise naturally lowers your levels of stress hormones like cortisol — which is linked to hunger and weight gain — and boosts feel-good hormones like endorphins that improve your mood and relieve stress.