Recall that the reason we eat is to survive, not for oral pleasure. Food can be incredibly enjoyable, especially when you eat with complete focus. Be present while you chew. Notice the variations of flavor on your tongue. Concentrate as you chew and swallow. Avoid distractions.
Be aware of what you are putting in your body. Don’t email, talk on the phone or watch TV while eating, as while doing so, you are likely to eat much more.
Studies show we consume more food when we eat while watching TV (link to one study of hundreds proving this)
Check in with yourself. Are you getting ready to undo all your hard work and will power because you’re angry, bored, or just because food is available? Before acquiescing to that force, that unexplainable power that propels you to frantically scour the cabinets, fridge and freezer….that careens your car off the highway to a drive-thru….that urges you to open, unwrap and ingest, almost unknowingly, whatever tempts you.
“Am I truly hungry right now? Would I eat an apple?” because if the answer is “No” then you are not hungry enough to eat. You are eating because of another compulsion. Likely an emotion. Stress, cortisol, thirst or some other powerful drive is leading your behavior. And only you can control it (more on this later).
This drive is deeply ingrained. It is there to keep us from starving to death. But unless you are reading this from a hut in a third world country—you are not likely to starve.
So if you, or your child, are not hungry enough to eat an apple, then find something else to do. If you would eat an apple, then do. Enjoy it (or any other fruit or veggie) have a glass of water and then find something else to do.