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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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The Dangers of Grazing

Is it unconscious eating or healthy grazing?

Woman at open refrigerator.Are you a grazer?  If you read my blogs on a regular basis, you know that I am in favor of eating small portions and eating frequently throughout the day. However, mindless “grazing” can lead to calories going unnoticed throughout your day, because you aren’t paying attention to how much food you're consuming! Unconscious eating can cause unwanted weight gain and prevent us from feeling hungry at actual meals. 

Here are some tips to help you stay clear of the “grazer” nametag:

Out of sight, out of mind.

Remove any containers of snacks from your kitchen counter or work desk (especially candy jars!) to prevent the temptation to reach and grab every time you look that way. 

Wait 20 minutes.

Sometimes, after I eat a meal or snack I still feel hungry. Waiting at least 20 minutes before eating something else can prevent overeating. It takes 15-20 minutes for the signal from your stomach to reach your brain indicating that you are satisfied or full. If I wait that amount of time, I usually realize that I’m not really hungry anymore, it just took a little bit of time to signal to my brain that I was satisfied.

Eat by a schedule.

Timing meals and snacks can prevent mindless grabbing of food as you walk by the pantry or snack jar. Schedule designated meal times and snack times. Your body loves routine, so try to eat your meals and snacks at around the same time every day.

Drink a glass of water.

Drinking a glass of water before meals can help prevent overeating. This will help you feel less hungry and be able to control portions. Besides, with summer here, we could all use a little more water in this heat!

Brush your teeth.

To avoid eating “after hours” simply brush your teeth. With minty fresh breath, you will no longer be tempted to eat late into the night. This trick can also be used to see if you are actually hungry or merely have a case of the munchies.

We are all culprits of wearing the “grazer” nametag every now and then. With these tips in mind, we can all become more conscious of our food choices throughout the day!

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Tags: Healthy Eating , Nutrition

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About the Author


Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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