We’ve all been there. For whatever reason, some kind of off-track food catches your eye and you can think of nothing else until you’ve eaten it. It might not even be something you especially love, but still – we all know it’s only a matter of time before it has been eaten.
Then, the usual course of action follows: shame and guilt followed by laying out a new (probably stricter) set of rules that you should live by. Which don’t last long before you find yourself doing it all again.
Wouldn’t it be great to break the cycle!
I think self observation is a great tool. If we can learn what leads us to overeat, we have the power to change things.
Think about the last eating episode which didn’t go well. What was happening right beforehand? Where were you? How did you feel? What were you doing? Can you answer those questions for several hours before that too?
If you read back through your answers, do you have any ah-ha moments? Don’t worry if not, but keep doing this exercise every time you find yourself eating in a way you don’t want to. Can you find any patterns? You might find you eat in a way you don’t want to when you’re stressed or frustrated, it might be hormone related, it might be when you haven’t eaten enough during the day – or it might be none of these things!
Once you know what is going on, it’s time to make a plan for how best to deal with it. Do you need to simply not have food in the house that you don’t want to eat? Do you need to plan to eat more nutrient rich calories?
Above all though, be kind to yourself! It is not easy to get things right all the time. There is no point in punishing yourself – just learn from each experience, without judgement, and work out what you need to do to prevent yourself experiencing the same issue again next time. Then, draw a line and move on.