Even if we’re eating the right stuff, if we eat on autopilot or out of fear that we’ll get hungry, we’re setting ourselves up for a huge struggle. The six tips I have for you below will teach you how to snack less, how to know when you’re really hungry, how to stop mindless eating and how to eat until you’re satisfied, not stuffed. Using these tips, you’ll be able to control how much you’re eating and shed some unwanted pounds without feeling like you’re dieting.
Surf the Urge
This is the hardest one so we’ll start here! The goal is to stop overeating. That means you have to change your habit of snacking, serving yourself extra portions, etc. When you decide to change your habits to get your eating in check, your mind is going to try to mess with you. It’s going to tell you “Go get more. This is too hard. It takes so much mental energy to do this. Just go back into the kitchen and get another snack. You can’t do this.” But you’re not going to do it. You’re going to feel the discomfort and sit with the urge to go get more. After 2-5 minutes, it will pass. And you’re strong enough to surf the wave.
Use the Hunger Scale
Hangry Zone: An uncomfortable, empty feeling that might include stomach pains, light-headedness, mood swings and/or headache. When you’ve hit the Hangry Zone, your binge risk is HIGH!
Normal Hunger: You’re thinking about what to eat for your next meal. If you don’t eat within 30-60 minutes, you’re likely to enter the Hangry Zone. Your stomach might be growling a little bit and it’s been about 3-4 hours since your last meal. You’re making a plan for how to put an end to the growling without panicking about it. Satisfied: You’re not full, but not hungry, either. You can comfortably go for a brisk walk to get up and do 15 jumping jacks without any discomfort. You don’t feel the need to snack.
Full: Your belly feels slightly bloated and your pants are feeling a little tight.
Stuffed: You feel uncomfortable, lethargic and you might have a “food baby.”
Somewhere along the way we learned and adopted the mindset that certain foods were good or bad, we needed to stay away from the bad foods at all costs and if we ate the bad stuff we were doing something wrong. This mindset comes straight from dieting. Dieting creates a scarcity mindset where our food intake gets restricted, certain foods are a no-no, and sometimes entire food groups are eliminated. We’re taught to think that we have to settle for LESS instead of realizing we have MORE than we need (which is the actual situation). This is where bingeing and “failing” on our plans comes into play. The diet and restriction isn’t maintainable, we get frustrated, so we eat all the things we “shouldn’t” because your willpower is gone, temptations are everywhere and it’s just too freaking hard to stay away or say no. Enter abundance. In order to think in terms of abundance, we have to think that no food is off limits, we can have anything and everything we want and there’s more than enough food to go around, because isn’t that true? If you really wanted some pizza on a Thursday afternoon at 11am, can’t you run down to the corner store and get some? Or couldn’t you make one at home? Of course you could. You have any kind of food you want literally at your fingertips.
Take a bite, put down your fork or whatever it is you’re eating, chew, enjoy, swallow, and repeat until you hit stasifcation. If you’re eating a meal and putting more food in your mouth before you even finished what was already in there, you’re at high risk for overeating. Most often this happens when we’re multi-tasking. We’re eating in front of the TV, we’re eating in front of our computers, eating with friends or eating on-the-go. Eliminate as many distractions as possible when you’re sitting down to eat a meal and if you know you’ll be eating in the car or with company, be mindful of your portions and keep that in check.
Check your H2O Intake
If you find yourself getting really snacky, check in on your water intake. You want to aim for half your bodyweight in fluid ounces of water each day. So if someone weights 150lbs, they’d aim for at least 75oz of water each day. If you’re drinking coffee or tea with caffeine, drink at least 8oz of water for every 8oz of caffeine you have since caffeine is a diuretic. If you’re drinking enough water and you’ve checked in on the Hunger Scale, you’ll know if it’s a good time to actually eat or wait it out.
Don’t go too long between meals
While I don’t subscribe to the notion that we should eat every 3 to 4 hours, I do think it’s important to be mindful of when your last meal or snack was. If you eat lunch at 11:30 then don’t eat dinner until 6, you’re leaving a huge window of opportunity open for lots of mindless snacking throughout the afternoon and when you get home from work. Leaving a 5+ hour gap between meals or snacks can results in overeating or lots of snacking so it’s a good idea to have a few small snack options on hand just in case you have to go longer than you’d like to between meals or snacks. Things like hard-boiled eggs, a Greek yogurt, some cottage cheese and fruit or veggies and dip can hold you over and won’t spoil your appetite before your next meal.
I’ve created a #SimpleSaneSuccessful Fat Loss Nutrition Guide to help you get started. This FREE guide takes away all of the complicated formulas, tracking apps and guess work. If you follow this easy guide, you’ll see how simple fat loss can really be. I’m going to teach you how to build your own fat loss plan using foods you actually like all the while learning how to incorporate your favorite treats. The goal of this guide is to allow you to achieve your fat loss goals while keeping your cravings down, energy up and confidence high!