One of my big discoveries on my weight loss journey was the fact that I don’t actually have to stop eating, or even eat less.
This was a big hallelujah moment for me as I love to eat – obviously, or I wouldn’t have found myself in the mess I was in. And as we all know, trying to stop something you are doing without something else replacing it, becomes a big huge void that at some point, you want to fill up again. And usually the filling up is the sliding back into old habits because you haven’t created any new ‘you bewt’ habits to go on with and create your new life.
So let’s turn traditional dieting on its head and explore a new way that will work better.
So a story… a friend of mine let’s call him Bill, told me that his downfall was eating at night in front of the TV. Bill was overweight by at least 30kgs (58lbs) and had formed this habit over time. So after many attempts to stop this behaviour, he found himself back at square one, eating each night continuously in front of the TV, because trying not to eat was just torture and let’s face it, he enjoyed it.
So how about we look at it in a different way, let’s plan to eat in front of the TV at night just like you want to, just do it in a different way. Let’s formulate it into an hourly plan, so it breaks it up a bit, intersperse it with tea drinking and choose foods that will still taste amazing and still support the desire to lose weight, so we are getting a win/win/win/win!
Sounds fab huh?
Ok so it may look like this…
So you’ve had an early dinner around 5pm and by 6pm you’re getting twitchy for something, how about this…
6pm – nice big cup of camomile tea with stevia. Tastes sweet, distracts you. You weren’t really hungry anyway; you just wanted to be doing something with your hands. It is soothing and relaxes you for the night ahead and is really hydrating. Totally winning.
7pm – now feeling like something desserty, line up something else. For me it would be a couple of my chocolate tweets, or gummy lollies or sesame snaps. Healthy, sweet and hits the spot without wanting to continue eating the whole batch.
Now here is another trick I use, I refill the tea and keep sipping. Why? Because it works for me. It’s just a habit I have developed that keeps me quite full all the time as well as hydrated. It just works.
8pm – if you are still wanting more, go for it. Pick something else from your list of ‘I can eat all of this and not feel guilty list.’ It might be something savoury now – cucumber slices with feta cheese on top, cheese crisps, waldorf salad (great for lots of crunching), toasted pumpkin seeds.
9pm – More tea or water and if you are still eating at this point, as it is so close to bed time, the best things to eat are low carb fruits, like strawberries, or blueberries, kiwi fruit or something really light like yoghurt with tahini and a bit of rice malt syrup on top, or even get fancy and have healthy popsicles. It digests easily and won’t interrupt your sleep.
So a couple of key things here for this to work:-
1. It has to be the right food. (For me this is everything except meat, sugar, grains, caffeine, any salted/flavoured snack food.)
2. Liquid, liquid, liquid (not soft drink, juice, alcohol or caffeine)
3. Space it out, have a little time plan – just makes you more mindful
4. If you are full and could take it or leave it, then leave it. Skipping one of the hours won’t hurt and there is more food not too far away.
Much better idea than trying to stop yourself all together huh? Especially when it doesn’t work.
Try it out and let me know how you go.
Line up those snacks!