One big factor that causes us to overeat is “meal times”. It is something pretty much everyone has grown up with. We eat this meal at this time of day whether we are hungry or not.
It is the same thing we do at school. We have scheduled times to eat, play and learn. These are necessary when you have large groups of people and you can’t really eat whenever you want but sometimes we eat at a certain time just because it is the time we think we are meant to eat.
How many times have you had something to eat at “lunch time”, just because it was lunch time and not because you were hungry?
It goes the other way too. How many times have you watched the clock wishing it was lunch time because you are starving but feel that you can’t eat until a certain time? This is something that works against you too.
In the first instance, eating just because it is a meal time even though you are not hungry is basically forcing your body to consume food it doesn’t need just yet. You may over eat simply because it is a habit.
Sometimes you can’t pick and choose when you get the opportunity to eat. For example, you may have a designated time for lunch in the office you work in. If this is the case, eat until you are full – not the amount you think you “should” eat because it is lunch time. Pay attention to when you get full and see if this will sustain you for the rest of the day.
If you can pick your times to eat, simple eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. The time of day should not determine when you eat your meals, your body should.
In the second instance when you are watching the clock and waiting, you will probably be super hungry by the time you get to eat, so you eat fast and you eat a lot. While it can be a good thing to feel a little hungry, you need to make sure you don’t let yourself get so hungry that you overeat.
Start paying attention to how you feel and be prepared. Having quick and easy snacks on hand can really help you.
Test where your hunger is at on a scale of ‘not hungry’ to ‘man I could eat this horrible hospital food, I am that hungry!’
Depending on the size of your hunger, you should choose what you will eat.
Now if you only have a certain time to eat and you know that it will be a long time before you can eat again, factor that in, but only enough that you are satisfied and fuelled.
The aim here is to make sure you are fueled enough to get through the day without overeating or feeling really hungry.
If you over eat you will feel guilty and sick but if you let yourself get too hungry you will get tired, and you have more motivation to binge the next chance you get to eat.
It’s takes a little practice but soon your will know what you need and how to adjust your portions depending on your circumstances. Not everyday will be exactly the same.
For example, on days I go to the gym or I am really active, I want and need to eat a lot, at different times of the day. I need to be aware also on those days that I am not as active, of boredom eating or eating at “meal times”, even if I am simply not hungry.
The more you learn about yourself, the easier this gets.
This is where you prepare for the worst. Ok it is not all doom and gloom but here is the thing. If we prepare to feel discomfort or have things not go the way we want, then when these things happen, because they will, we just automatically know what to do.
This is how Starbucks trains their employees; They run them through all the things that can go wrong and all the different types of customer behaviors that they might have to face, so that when they are faced with a similar situation, they don’t need to work out how to handle it, they just react with a prebuilt habit.
This is what you have been doing in your life already, but now we want to build in habits that are going to get you to where you want to be, not the habit to where you are right now.
As you go through your day, pay attention to the red flags and sit down and imagine what kind of rock blocks and speed bumps that you might come across.
When you identify them, make a plan on how to get around them. You see there is nothing wrong with feeling hungry or having to wait to eat. The only difference is in your mindset and how you will deal with it. You will be much more likely to choose a meal with some nutritional value if you have first prepared yourself for a situation where you are tired, hungry and you know… ready to bite someone’s head off compared to if you were not.
Like the saying goes…
You are not yourself when you are hungry.
Manage your time, hunger and food.
We leave so much up to chance. If we were to manage it like we manage other aspects of our lives, then things would be so much easier.
This whole process is about creating new habits. This will take a bit of work at the beginning but soon these new habits will become as normal as brushing your teeth.
As I have said every step of the way…
There is no ONE way to do this… only YOUR way.
You have your very own schedule, budget, taste, cooking experience, hunger levels and the list goes on.
It would be crazy to have a one size fits all approach to this. That is why some DIEts work for some people and fail for others. At the end of the day, none of it will get you to a life long way of taking control of your eating and health.
So instead of having a set of rules you must follow, you get to create something that works.
Try out some of the methods you have heard about or life hacks you think will work. If they do work, great, if they don’t, well you were able to rule something out.
Think about what has worked for you in the past. Chances are this is not your first time trying to gain control of your weight and I assure you that success does leaves clues.
What did you do in the past that you found worked for you?
Pay attention to the way you think and feel above all. It is meant to be an enjoyable experience not a forced thing. There will be some effort but there is a big difference between a little effort and the sheer force you need to make yourself DIEt and exercise to lose weight. The whole point is to go beyond that thinking and really find what works!
It will take a bit of time to find what works and create a habit out of it. The main thing is to start small. We all seem to have a gunho approach when it comes to this stuff.
‘On Monday I am starting my DIEt and I am going to the gym’ and by Wednesday you are struggling, and by Friday you hate life as you know it.
Not anymore. One little habit leads to the next and then the next until you have come so far from where you started that there is no turning back.
Are you ready to FLY?
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