Sneaky Eating? Try My Top 10 Tips!
The following are my top 10 tips that have helped me with my food addiction and in particular my sneaky eating habits. Have I totally overcome this issue? No, but I have to say, I rarely do it anymore. Praise God!
1. TELL SOMEONE YOU LOVE AND TRUST!
This will probably be the hardest, but necessary action you will need to take if you are a sneaky eater! It’s time to stop hiding this issue and dealing with it. You are NOT alone. Take action! Educate them in what Sneaky Eating is. They will still love and accept you. This is so much more about how YOU view yourself. Set yourself free! Let them know you are committed to making changes, that it won’t happen overnight and that all you require from them is their non-judgment (you don’t need a watchdog as this would only make it harder for you), their support and their continued love.
2. MAKE A MEAL PLAN AND STICK TO IT!
I LOVE, love, love, the Portion Fix Container System. It truly is life changing and will help you stay on track with proper portions! Click here for more info
I’m a creature of habit when it comes to my meals for the most part and so as daunting as making a meal plan sounds, it’s pretty simple when you eat pretty much the same thing for breakfast, lunch and snacks. Truly for me, it’s the dinners that I switched up daily. So I just make up my meal plan on a spreadsheet and simply print it off each week…with the occasional switcheroo for the dinner meals.
3. STAY HONEST WITH YOURSELF!
Be aware of what you’re doing! When you find yourself standing in front of the refrigerator holding the door open or holding the cupboard door to your food pantry…. PAUSE! Are you about to eat something that’s not on your daily meal plan? Are you in the midst of Sneaky Eating? Think about what you’re doing and why? Are you truly hungry? Don’t lie to yourself….stay honest! Think about the emotion or trigger that brought you into the kitchen, holding the door open to the foods you don’t need. Are you bored, lonely, depressed, frustrated, tired? Were you watching TV and TV is a trigger for you to hunt for food? This brings me to Tip #4!
4. KEEP A JOURNAL!
Make 3 columns: Time / Food / Emotion or Trigger. By tracking this information you’ll be able to see if there is a pattern to your sneaky eating. Maybe this is just an issue in the evening, when you’re bored/lonely, when you are watching TV? Maybe you’ll discover it’s always the certain type of snack food that you reach for. Keeping a journal is a great tool to self-discovery and healing.
5. DRINK WATER!
Many people are dehydrated and “think” they’re hungry when in fact their bodies are craving water! When you’re on the hunt for food….Hold off sneaky eating and try to make a habit to drink water FIRST!
6. PRAY FOR STRENGTH!
If you are a person of faith, then this is a MUST! This is a step we often overlook. Ask God for help in this area of your life! Lean on Him to give you the strength and self-control. “For with God…All things are possible”! 😉
We’ve heard it before and we’ll hear it again. That’s because it’s sooooo important. It can help regulate our moods, therefore, our emotional eating can benefit too! It will also help to give us confidence over time and re-program our brains from poor food choices to fueling our bodies for performance and our future health. Who doesn’t want a future WITHOUT a handful of meds and frequent doctor’s visits? I know I’d love to avoid that if possible. I don’t want poor choices that I’ve made to be the cause for any future health issues. Find a workout DVD program that YOU love (I can help you choose) or find an activity that you love and DO!
8. ALLOW YOURSELF TREATS!
Yes…you heard me right! Just make sure you plan for them! For me this is ABSOLUTELY a necessity when you are a sneaky eater. From your journal above, you’ll discover what your food vices are? Then figure it into your daily allotted calories. For me…. I LOVE ice cream! And just knowing I’m allowing myself to have it for dessert each night helps me tremendously! So if I fall into the 1800 calorie bracket on the Portion Fix Container System, I simply eat from the lower 1500 calorie bracket and follow the container system according to the 1500 calorie bracket…having my treat without guilt (or how it fits into plan). That may not be conventional thinking in the diet world, but this is MY life and it’s what works for me and my current lifestyle. I truly believe eating on the 80/20 plan or 90/10 plan …. 80-90% healthy choices and 10-20% less healthy (treats). 100% on plan is unrealistic! And for anyone with a sneaky eating issue this would most certainly put us in a Full Binge Mode! Can I get an Amen?
9. TRY THE “TINY HABITS” TECHNIQUE (For more info)
After I __[existing habit] _, I will [new tiny behavior] , and then CELEBRATE by !
Example: After I avoid eating a sneaky food, I will sip on some water and then celebrate by doing an imaginary high five with my Wonder Twin, Keith (fellow sneaky eater overcomer), and say a celebratory, “YES!” 😉
10. SEEK COUNSELLING IF NEEDED!
If you’ve done all the tips above and you find yourself still struggling then I would recommend getting to the root of your inner hurt with a counsellor. There is no shame is asking for help. In fact it is quite an honorable and brave thing to do. You are taking control and working on living YOUR best life. Awesome!
You WILL Succeed! I believe in YOU!
Take one small victory at a time! Celebrate each one!
Before you know it time will pass, sneaky eating will be less frequent
and eventually food will no longer have such a stronghold on your life!
Blessings to You!