Do you find you frequently go to get seconds?
Pop in a few biscuits to fill the gap before you go to bed?
Maybe not quite knowing when to stop eating once you start?
Whilst the behaviour is often masking something deeper that has nothing to do with food (and you may need help to change this), there are a few steps you can take to disrupt the patterns in the meantime:
- Pause - whilst this might seem impossible at times, setting a regular intention to take at least 30-60 secs before the food touches your lips, might just be enough time to say to yourself, is this what I really want or is something bothering me. Pausing makes choosing easier.
- Breath - notice your breathing, is it shallow and from the top of your body or slow and deep? You can calm yourself down a lot with noticing and changing how you breath.
- Water - you've heard it before but it is always good to ask your body, are you really hungry or thirsty, listen to the response and apply!
- Sleep - it has been known that in order to keep awake, we use food but it isn't hunger we are feeding.
- Sit -Pull up a chair and use a plate - this works by interrupting the habit of walking around, dipping into the fridge, eating out of packets without looking at our food and picking mindlessly.
- Pleasing - Notice if you are eating to join in, eating to not offend someone or because it is there.
- Waste - we are taught not to waste, to clean our plates but we are not kitchen bins...if it is not wanted is it going in your body or bin?
- Language - 'I shouldn't' and 'I can't' are disempowering, try, 'I could if I so choose' and notice the difference.
- Hunger and satiation - look out for something called a hunger scale. It can help as a guide to notice body signals.
- Eat slowly - there is no better way than to build satisfaction and connection with your food than this. It doesn't have to be all the time but experiment and find out how it is for you.
Lucy Still is an Attuned Eating Coach, specialising in transforming the lives of emotional eaters who overeat due to negative experiences.