It’s not just active sport that can help you lose weight.
Less lively games and pastimes have huge potential to help you change unhelpful eating habits, so you lose weight permanently. Particularly those habits which surface when you’re tired but under-stimulated at the end of the day.
The nights are drawing in, which can mean more evening snacking in front of the TV
Lots of people have said to me that they don’t find it too hard to avoid snacking in the evenings when it’s light and the weather is fine, as they can go outdoors for a walk or potter in the garden. But now the clocks have gone back and it’s cold outside, that’s not such an attractive prospect.
Why do we succumb more easily to snacking in the evening?
Those of us who are prone to snacking in the evening even though we don’t mean to, are likely to struggle with resisting temptation because we’ve run out of energy. Psychologist Roy Baumeister suggests that willpower is like a form of energy, which we run out of over the course of the day. Which means that evening is the time when we have least ability to resist temptation. Also, you can be tired but restless at the same time, and if this happens to you, you may go in search of food to discharge the restless feelings.
What can we do to stop?
The key to stopping mindless snacking in the evenings when you’re tired is to have something ready to keep your hands and mind occupied. Anything absorbing will do, and the more fun it is the better. Watching TV is fine, but it only keeps your mind occupied and you may find it much easier to stop snacking if your hands are occupied too.
When you’re Christmas shopping, drop by your local toyshop to check out fun ways of keeping your mind and hands occupied. You might end up enjoying a trip down memory lane as you rediscover games and activities that you’ve forgotten for years. My local toyshop Toytastik stocks things I didn’t even know existed such as Solitaire Chess and it was there I came across Play Sand, which is good for those evenings when you have absolutely no energy for anything more than scrunching up handfuls of what looks like real sand, and which is really mesmeric!
Come up with your own low-energy pastimes for the autumn and winter evenings
A few suggestions to get you started:
Word puzzles and crosswords
Number puzzles like Sudoku
Hula-hooping (this is on the spot and doesn’t take too much space)
Knitting or other crafts
Having a bath
Playing a repetitive game like rubik’s cube or handling Play Sand
Play patience (card game for one person) or any card game with someone else
Play board games with someone else
Tidy out a drawer
Surf the internet
Try it and see!
Make yourself a list of the low-energy things you’re likely to enjoy, and have them ready to hand, so that once that time in the evening arrives, you don’t have to do any extra thinking or planning – you’re ready to go with your absorbing activity. It will soon pay for itself as you buy fewer snacks, and you’ll discover what it feels like to be able to feel more in control at that tricky time of day.
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