Snacking When You Shouldn't Be?
When you find yourself floating over to the fridge for the fourth time that afternoon, when you're not hungry, but are just feeling a little bored, frustrated, stuck, lonely, the advice is usually to not eat on your emotions. But the reality is we often do, in the same way that babies will nurse not only for hunger but also for comfort. Instead of trying to eat perfectly from next week onwards, try this:
What You'll Need
- A fridge or pantry to step away from. A journal.
What You'll Do
- 1) VOICE WHAT YOU WANT THE FOOD TO DO FOR YOU As you're about to reach for the food, or as you're eating the food, try and voice (out loud if nobody's around) what you're hoping the food will do for you. e.g. "I'm wanting this cookie to sooth the fear I feel in my stomach around not being able to write the document" e.g. "I'm wanting this ice-cream to take the edge off my sadness that he hasn't called".
- 2) TRACK, IS IT WORKING? Sometimes the food really works. In which case, enjoy it whilst it works! But, at some juncture sooner rather than later, you'll notice a switch. It's not actually pleasurable any more. It's not working any more. If it's not working, that's the time to put down the food.
- 3) STEP AWAY FROM THE KITCHEN Identify that moment when the food isn't working and learn to step away from the fridge/pantry. Eating now has zero benefits or up-sides. Acknowledge that and go feel your feelings. Try journaling on a sofa with a herbal tea (if you don't know what to write, just write "I don't know what to write" over and over again until something shows up).
Tips & Warnings
- For all you perfectionists out there, sane eating isn't about eating perfectly all the time. If we could just stop eating as soon as the food isn't working or isn't truly pleasurable, that's progress. A lot of people keep snacking until they're uncomfortably full and then think the food item is the problem rather than the fact that they didn't stop when the pleasure ended.
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