Fat loss isn’t difficult. It’s not complicated.
What is complicated is our habits and behaviours associated to certain situations.
As this is something I must cautiously face every day, I created a process that works. Yes, I must be disciplined if I want to break this cycle. My mind knows what to do, but my bad habits will always try to come back.
In the past I would turn to food when tired, bored or stressed. It was my comfort. But facing my emotions and dealing with them properly has helped me see that food is not the solution to my problem.
Snacking is behaviour associated with your routine. And just like with any other cycle, if you want to break it, you need to start doing something differently.
Here are some of the reasons you’re snacking and overeating while snacking:
- You haven’t eaten enough during the day. You eat very small meals during the day thinking this may help you with the fat loss, but the reality is, you are undereating, and your body is asking for more nutritious foods.
- You’re stressed. You eat, to cope with your stressful situations
- You’re bored. Yes, this may seem a little bit silly, but it’s true. You are bored so opening the fridge gives you something to do.
- You’re tired.
Snacking was a big barrier for me to maintain a healthy weight and stop the yo-yo dieting.
Here are 4 questions I ask myself when I feel like snacking.
Am I hungry? If yes, I make sure I eat protein-based meal with plenty of vegetables. Plenty of protein to fill me up. Then I look back at my day to check if I hydrated and ate well. And 9 times out of 10 I didn’t. Hence, I know I need to eat a meal with 30-35g protein and plenty of veggies. I also like to finish the meal with a hot drink to top me up. At this point however, I need to leave the kitchen and start a different activity as I know if I stay in, the fridge will carry on calling my name.
Am I stressed? If yes, I need to destress. But not with the food. Food is no longer a coping mechanism for me. Some of the techniques I use are – moving (walk, workout), meditation and breathing exercises (including yoga), mindfulness or journaling. First, I need to face my emotions to get to the bottom of why I am stressed. That usually helps me to decide how to move forward. This is something I learnt to do this year after I finished CBT to deal with my anxieties. I find it very powerful to understand my emotions now and being able to address them.
Am I bored? If yes, I need to find something to do. I work from home most of the time, so the fridge is there all the time. Having a to do list for my business and my life and family ensures I always have something to do. I mean, come on – can a mum every be bored?? And I am self-employed too, so there is always something to do. Ha-ha. However the list helps with accomplishing these tasks.
Am I tired? If yes, then the answer is to go upstairs, start bedtime routine, grab a book and rest. This helps me unwind too and helps me fall asleep. No TV, no phone, no tablet, no emails at least 1 hour before bedtime helps my mind stop completely. I’d normally just check my diary to plan the next day, then bathroom routine and book or meditation. This routine has also helped me improve my sleep.
I understand my behaviours now. But I didn’t 3-4 years ago. I’d act very quickly based on how I felt and that led me to different choices. Choices that no longer served me.
Understanding my emotions has helped me creating routines to help me dealing with them in healthier way. I feel empowered by everything I learned about myself.
If snacking is something that stopping you right to move forward with your weight loss, try to ask your self some of these questions before you reach for another biscuit.
Take it day by day and be patient.
Our behaviours are complicated. And it takes time to changes habits that you have had for years.
Are you going to try some of these techniques?
I trust this has helped you and have a great week.