It’s official. A lot of us are not eating from genuine hunger anymore. Those days are long gone. The calories we consume are driven by much more.
It’s Christmas, we aren’t out doing the standard Christmassy – shopping, Xmas markets, dining out, or going to parties. So, we are sitting at home, bored, lonely and possibly slightly stressed. What do you do?
Are you eating or drinking more driven by your emotions? When coaching clients online, I find a lot of our weekly check-in calls are trying to overcome roadblocks like emotional eating used to soothe or handle stress.
Lots of my clients also say they don’t have to experience negative, sad or stressed emotions to overeat but any emotion at all drives overeating – celebration, contentment and happiness too.
I bet my last penny that you didn’t overeat on chicken breast or steak either? It’s probably junk food, heaped with a large portion of guilt for afters.
Let me share some of the tips that I use with clients.
Identify the emotion
As simple as it sounds, ask yourself, “why am I eating this if I’m not hungry?”. In my experience in dealing with clients, work, personal conflicts, financial struggles, this pandemic and many other things that are out of our control can trigger overeating. Writing it it down helps with acknowledgement.
Sort out the Kitchen
Sort out the location of your greatest temptations. Asking someone not to buy it in usually isn’t helpful. If like me, you still buy less nutritious foods into the house for other family members, then make it hard for yourself to get your hands on it. If you can see it every time you open pantry doors or fridge door, then it’s a visual reminder – ‘eat me’!
Those of you who I have coached before will know this already, as for me it’s the most critical driver to achieving goal success. So, don’t forget it. Why are you doing this? Why is it so important? So, put up visual reminders in your kitchen as to why you want to lose weight, get healthy, get fitter. To get yourself on track, post reminders on your cupboards or fridge. Photos, daily mantras, whatever motivates you. They are reminders not to seek comfort in food.
I frequently observe women who de-stress by flopping down on the couch at the end of a busy day in front of the TV and eat. Instead, use distraction techniques. Go for a walk, pamper your skin, take a bath. Go to bed early and read a good book. Stay off the phone (blue light) late in the evening.
Call for support
Lift your phone and call your friend. When starting a new program, enlist an accountability buddy to help you keep your shit together. Someone who will tell you the truth, remind you of your ‘why’. We need help, not someone who tells you what you want to hear.
Just eat the damn biscuit!
If you are hungry, eat it. I encourage all my clients not to do the “all or nothing’ diet. If you love a cuppa and a biscuit, then build it into your calories. It steers you away from the good food/bad food mentality. It’s just a biscuit.
Underrated, but incredibly important. It’s only in the past few years that I rediscovered the importance of sleep. From a dietary perspective, lack of it can bring about more hunger-inducing hormonal imbalances, not including more stress. Adults need 7-9 hours per night. De-stress using options above.
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