We recently had a consult with one of our private clients, Sarah. She had been following our protocol doing and well, but lately hit a plateau. So we had her track her eating for 3 days after which she very quickly noticed the problem. As a busy mother of 3 she found herself constantly picking at food, particularly when preparing meals or snacks for her kids. When she started writing the amount down, she was amazed at how much the “little” picks here and there added up.
For Sarah, just noticing this helped her to turn it around and she able to break through her plateau using the strategies we outline below. As we tell our clients all the time, unless you are fully aware of what your obstacles are, there is no way to fix them.
We know unconscious picking is an issue both for ourselves and many of our clients. Let’s be honest – how often have you found yourself finishing off that last bite of sandwich or handful of chips or pretzels off your kids plate? Or grabbing “just a few” crackers or a cookie or two from your cookie stash?
If you are feeling a bit out of control, we have compiled 7 strategies to help you cut back on the mindless picking and help you get your eating habits in order.
JOURNAL: Keep a journal for two straight days, jotting down everything you put in your mouth. We are NOT interested in calories here. Have three columns total – 1. time of day 2. how much and what type of food 3. a hunger column. For the hunger column, put a Y or an N to signal whether or not you ate due to true physical hunger or not. Notice how many “N’s” show up – these are the ones we are trying to avoid.
OBSERVE: Take note of what you eat at your meals. If there is not enough protein and/or fat, the meal may be spiking your blood sugars unknowingly, causing a hunger surge that can be avoided by keeping your meals more balanced. This may mean adding protein to your morning smoothie, nuts or seeds to your oatmeal, some beans or chicken to your salad at lunch, guacamole or hummus with your afternoon veggies. Download our free report for more great tips.
BREATHE: Take 3 deep breaths before you put anything in your mouth. Walk away for a minute and see if that can break the “trance.”
INDUCE PAIN: Ok nothing too serious here, but try putting a rubber band on your wrist and every time you pick, snap it. This will not only bring awareness to your grazing, but also associate an unpleasant feeling with it.
DRINK: When in doubt drink water. Often we snack when we are actually thirsty. The act of drinking may distract you long enough to keep you on track.
GO RAW: When all else fails, be sure to have some raw cut up veggies around at all times. If you cave to picking, at least it will be on nutrient packed healthy fare.