I post about a lot of life victories, delicious recipes, and happy moments, but there’s a side of Erin Eating Everything that you don’t see that often. Literally Erin eating everything.
Lately I’ve been on some crazy ravenous hunger kick (lately?). Well, calling it hunger is hardly accurate. I am constantly surrounded by food, accustomed to instant gratification in this day and age, and confused by the signals my body is sending me (or rather not listening to them at all).
See those Oreos on the tables? Delicious! Imagine what they taste like! Wait, don’t imagine – eat one! Eat two even! Everyone else is eating them.
I work in an office where the table by the door has a constant supply of sugary snacks, I also work in a kitchen (food everywhere!), and the moment I walk in my apartment food is in plain site. I am always within reach of food to the point where when I want it, I can get it – almost instantly. It’s become a problem and I think my body has been trying to tell me for a while.
It’s times like these when I wish I had a magic pill, an easy solution that fixed all of my crazy cravings and moments of weakness. I can hear the infomercial now: Take this pill daily and within seconds all of your cravings for junk food will disappear.***
From what I can tell so far though there is no magic bullet, just common sense. At a certain point you have to step back, talk to yourself and think about what you’re doing. Are you in control? Do you feel long term satisfaction from eating this way (or just instant gratification?) I know for me it’s an ongoing challenge and I have my good days and bad, but every now and then I give myself a good pep talk and calm down for a few days.
So to help me out (and maybe you’re in the same boat – hey neighbor!) Here are some tips to keep yourself from mindlessly eating when food is there and you aren’t really hungry:
- Write one goal for yourself at the beginning of the day (think small as in this is small enough and reasonable enough that I can accomplish it. Day two can go bigger) and keep it in your pocket or taped to your phone or somewhere that you’ll run into it a lot. Sometimes seeing a note from your reasonable self can help tame the crazy you when it comes out.
- Picture yourself in the situation before it happens (I know, I know this sounds hokey, but work with me here). Picture yourself looking away from the food that’s tempting you instead of staring at it and expecting it to jump in your mouth. Perhaps coming up with something to do instead of staring at it or thinking about eating it will help (just decide what that something is before you get to that moment)
- Give yourself a long to-do list and be productive! I find most people’s bad eating habits stem from boredom and if I have enough to keep me occupied (in an interesting way) I am less likely to graze on random foods.
- Stock up on good snacks that you want to eat and can eat if you are legitimately hungry (but first ask yourself are you actually hungry or do you just want to put something in your mouth?)
- Are you in control or out of control? What works better for you – eating just one bite of something you love to get your fix and then you can walking away? Or do you need to completely avoid whatever is causing your crazy eating habit and not allow yourself even one bite? If you’re the former, make sure to have a small bit available to you so you don’t end up giving in to something less satisfying just because you want something.
Find what works for you (easier said than done, but not everything works for everyone) and stick with it. Most food things are just bad habits waiting to be replaced by good habits. So start a new habit!
***Not available in all states. Must take this medicine regularly for the rest of your life. Side effects of going off this pill may include: wanting to stuff your face with those fluffy frosted grocery store sugar cookies, eating absurd amounts of Pringles, and sneaking off during a party to secretly finish off the rest of the half gallon of ice cream.
P.S. (I’m still keeping the name of my blog. Erin Eating Reasonably doesn’t have the same ring to it…)