Do you find yourself intending to have a biscuit with a cup of tea mid afternoon, only to eat half the packet without stopping?
It might happen at work, or when you get home from collecting children from school or before you start preparing your evening meal. Wherever it happens, changing this one eating habit can help cut down on excess calories and give you a greater sense of control.
The reason for getting the munchies mid-afternoon might be any or all of:
- You feel tired & lacking in energy and want a pick-me-up
- You want a treat because you’re bored or stressed
- You know how long it will be until dinner and you don’t think you’ll be able to wait
A simple alteration to your afternoon routine can help you here, which deals with all 3 of these at once:
- Work out what specific snack would be the most enjoyable thing you could have*
- Prepare this fabulous snack in the morning or the night before, paying attention to keeping the portion size small enough that you will be definitely hungry again by dinner time.
- When you get to the “munchies” time, take a few minutes to eat your delicious snack, focusing on how lovely the tastes and textures are.
What happens when you choose something you love and you eat it when you are hungry, and you focus on its taste and texture, is that you get the most pleasure you could possibly get from that food. It will really satisfy your appetite. It will give you energy, provide a real treat, and keep you going until dinner.
*Examples from people I’ve worked with are:
- 1 oat cake with 3 chargrilled artichokes
- half a piece of chocolate cake
- 2 breadsticks with cheese & chive dip
- 1 chocolate biscuit and 8 raspberries
- 5 brazil nuts
These examples are the “perfect snacks” of some of my clients. They may not appeal to you. That is not a problem; you can choose your own perfect snack. Interestingly, people whose favourite snacks are sugary foods such as cake or chocolate, tend to find that when they really allow themselves to have their favourite snack, they don’t keep wanting that and they move on to more healthy foods as their ideal snack.
When you eat your perfect snack instead of compulsively eating the biscuits, you’ll get much more pleasure and you’ll discover the feeling of gentle control that comes with feeding yourself well.
Weight loss follows when the small perfect snack replaces overeating of less-delicous foods on a regular basis. It’s how we eat every day -our regular eating habits- that determines what we weigh.