Staying at home with less things to do can encourage constant snacking, focusing less on healthy choices and more on what’s easiest to grab. But, when combined with social distancing right now, you may be experiencing both constant snacking and overeating…like many of us are. There may be a variety of reasons for this, so let’s go over them and how you can overcome it.
What can Cause Overeating & Constant Snacking? What can help Overeating?
It can be obvious when your eating habits change and you notice that you are almost always in the kitchen or constantly thinking about the next time you eat. This is especially true when you are not prepping meals, moving less, doing less, and life may be stressful right now. Which brings us to the top question to figure out what may be the reason why you’re snacking more and overeating:
- Consuming low protein. Protein is one of the most satiating macro-nutrients. This simply means that it helps you stay fuller, for longer, between meals. Ideally, it’s best to spread out your protein intake throughout the day to help with this, digestion, and protein synthesis. The amount of protein I recommend for most is .8-1g per lb of body weight or goal body weight if overweight.
- High stress. When stress is high, it can make staying on track with your health goals 1000000000 times harder. Instead of ignoring what may be going on or reaching for food when times are hard, take a few deep breaths. Ask yourself in that moment “What do I need right now? How can I help myself?” Stress management is very important, and sometimes food can help but sometimes you need self-care more than anything.
- Low food quality. When choosing what foods you are eating as a snack or meal, it’s best to look for nutritious ones that are higher volume. However, most snacking foods are low volume, and high calorie. If you find yourself reaching for these more, simply switching up your snacking choices to higher fiber and protein can help (as well as higher volume, lower calorie so you can eat enough to help curb hunger).
- No food prepped. This one may be obvious to you. You are hungry, but push it off until you are ravenous. But, as soon as you make it to the kitchen all meals take time to cook. You don’t have time, you’re hungry. Skip the nutritious stuff, head to the pretzels, chips, and Oreo’s. I mean…that’s easier right? Yes and no. These low volume, high calorie foods may satisfy you for a few minutes but soon enough you will be back in the kitchen looking for something. Simply by adding more food when you cook meals to save for later, prepping food when you notice hunger at the very beginning, and adding a variety of nutrients can help. Meal prep doesn’t have to be hard either, just cook a little more each meal to put on the side for another meal or tomorrow.
- Pushing off hunger too long. This is just like we mentioned before, pushing off hunger too long makes it harder to reach for anything nutritious. You look for the easy, not the things that take time to make and cook. But that’s not it, once you’ve pushed off hunger too long it makes it harder to pay attention to how much you are eating and taking your time. This then can lead to overeating, the complete opposite of the hunger food scale. Some hunger is normal, but it’s important to pay attention and not push it off too long.
Learning to Help Overeating and Constant Eating is NOT about Dieting
If you read through the list above, you may notice that starting a new diet, going into a weight loss phase, or exercising more had nothing to do with it. In fact, doing these things can make it so much harder.
Instead, focusing on what your mind and body is trying to tell you in this moment can be the transformation you’ve been looking for. Start to focus on each step above, and once you conquer them (one at a time) try to see what else may be going on. Often times, we go through phases in our life that need more attention to. But please don’t forget to take care of yourself along the way, no matter what life throws at you.
Listen to your mind, Listen to your body.
Here’s to Stronger mind’s & bodies,
Health & Mindset Coach
1:1 Coaching, Fitness programs, and much more at http://www.tiffanymoule.com