Soda, Popcorn and Mindful Eating

New York mayor, Michael Bloomberg’s lost his fight to ban oversized sugary sodas sold in New York City. The judge called the soda ban “arbitrary and capricious,” while advocates defended themselves saying they are trying to “reset the default.” Ironically, the Big Gulp® was never threatened since it’s purveyor, 7-11, is under state control. Bloomberg Soda Numbers

Do you still consider movie theater popcorn a reasonably healthy snack or even a meal substitute? Think again. A large bucket–without the buttery topping–has anywhere from 400 to 1,200 calories, one to three days’ worth of saturated fat, and up to 1,500 milligrams of sodium.

There’s no doubt that portions sizes in America are inflated. Add to that our tendency to multi task—think eating lunch while checking email–and maybe the obesity epidemic isn’t so hard to understand. Many of us just keep going until the plate is clean or the bag is empty.

How do we reverse this dangerous trend? How can we eat more mindfully? Here are some tips:

  • Chew your food at least 20 times per bite.
  • Have a “no technology” rule at meals (that includes TV).
  • Practice the Japanese philosophy of Hara Hachi Bu – eat until you are 80% full.
  • When eating in a group, be the last to begin.
  • When eating out, share a meal. If that’s not an option, put half of your order in a to-go box right away and enjoy it the next day for lunch.
  • Eat off of smaller plates and bowls.
  • Know your food weaknesses, and keep those items out of sight in the pantry.

Stay informed and try these strategies to increase your mindfulness around eating.


Wansink, B. (2010) Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think. Bantam.


2 thoughts on “Soda, Popcorn and Mindful Eating

  1. Just read through all of your blogs–excellent content. Now I know why exercise is much more likely to occur when I plan it for the morning than late in the day. I’m hoping a positive attitude and willpower will help me ‘say no’ to movie popcorn!

  2. That tip about packing up half your order when dining out can be a life saver. The sheer number of calories in a restaurant meal can be staggering. Get it off the plate right away, otherwise you’ll pick at it until you’ve eaten all 1200 calories!

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