If You're Eating All the Snacks...(and you don't want to be.)
Updated: Sep 27, 2019
If you're eating all the snacks, and you're not happy about it (if you are happy and having satisfying snack-attacks, this post isn't for you), then your inner voice may be sounding like this:
Why do I keep doing this? Why can't I control myself around food? From now on those are just for the kids/guests/husband/wife.
This is the last time, for real.
Sound familiar? Of course it does. So let me help you understand why you're eating all the snacks.
1) Because you're not eating enough during your meals. Yes, can you image that you're actually not eating enough? Most people reject this idea because they're eating all the snacks, so clearly they're eating more than they need to be, right? But take away the snacks for a moment and ask yourself how much real food you're eating. Put all your meals together in your mind, and ask yourself if you think that would be enough for, for example, a grown daughter. Would you be happy if that's all she ate in a day? Most people don't eat enough 'real food', and their body compensates for this 'under-eating' with a huge push of motivation to go raid the cupboards. This is an instinctual process, it's hardly free-will. This can also happen when you train a lot at the gym, take up running, or you're simply more active than you used to be, say, running around after a toddler. If you find yourself craving snacks at the end of the day, there's a good chance your body is actually telling you it needs more food. If you want to remedy this, simply eat a fourth meal when you find yourself browsing the cupboards.
2) You've recently been on a no-sweets, no processed foods, no flour cleanse or challenge, or you've done a sudden diet/lifestyle shift... and then you had a taste of the snacks. These modern foods of ours (factory/lab created, or highly processed) are far, far more rewarding to the brain than are the beautiful whole foods grown from the earth. Our instinctual/survival brain rates the intensity of the flavour, salt, fat or sugar in snacks as far more important than whole foods (yes, modern food has fooled our brains). So when you decide to have just one taste again, don't be surprised when you eat the whole thing or whole kitchen. Your brain thinks it's doing you a favour, your brain thinks these foods are more important for your survival. Plus, it's not sure when it will get these rich, 'important' foods again because you'll get back on the wagon tomorrow, right? Again, this is totally natural, has nothing to do with you as a person, and is simply the way our brains (and these foods) are designed. If you want to remedy this, stay away from cleanses and food challenges, and instead experiment with whole foods ingredient snacks- they're completely delicious, but don't stimulate your brain quite the same way. Peanut butter-cocoa energy balls anyone?
3) You've labelled snacks as 'bad', and your guilt after having one is creating an emotional charge that causes you to eat more. Say what? What happens when you eat something you told yourself you wouldn't? Well, nothing, until your mind turns on with negative chatter and activates an emotional/stress-response. This inner talk and judgment create feelings of remorse and guilt and annoyance, or other, which unleashes an emotional/stress response in your body that feels uncomfortable. And what's the best way to dull these emotional vibrations? Fill yourself up with food, numb the discomfort, and start fresh with 'no bad food' tomorrow. (Note: numbing emotional vibrations with food is not actually the best way to deal.) As long as you label certain food as 'bad', eating it will create guilt and you'll likely eat more because of that guilt. Ironic isn't it.
Feeling out of control around food isn't fun. People joke about it, there are memes about it, but if you're really struggling with food, then you're also struggling with yourself. And that's the sad thing about it all, because overeating and binge eating and eating all your kids' snacks has nothing to do with you. Food is rarely a rational decision- otherwise everyone would just eat the way they wanted to. How we fuel our body, the stimulation of food itself, and how we relate to food all play a role in the unconscious decision making of the brain. If you struggle with food, it's important to understand why. You can learn more about this topic by watching my free training here (no sign up required), or you can book a free consultation call and we can talk about some of these ideas together. You can book that call here.
PS. Could you relate to one of these reasons? I'd love to hear about your experience. Email me here to share.