After a long day at work, you come home, prepare a quick and easy dinner, and as a reward, you reach for your favorite chocolate. Only it doesn't stop at 2 pieces, but you snack more and more, and suddenly the whole bar is gone.
If this situation sounds familiar to you, and this is one of the reasons why you can't lose weight, you're not alone.
Let's get this straight from the start: I am a big chocolate fan. From brownies to chocolate cake, there's always room for dessert in my belly, even if I've been full for a long time. Fortunately, it's not like this every day. But there was a time when I would sometimes come home exhausted in the evening, prepare a meal late at night (or didn't even bother to make a meal), and then eat one or even multiple chocolate bars in one go, like I breathed them in.
This scenario repeated itself for years until I found a way out of my vicious circle.
Nowadays, we are swimming in an overabundance of food. While we humans used to eat to avoid starving or to prepare for a long walk, our eating behavior is controlled by 2 things: time and emotions.
Humans are creatures of habit, and when the clock strikes 12, we automatically go to eat, even though we are not always hungry. But eating together with other people also has its advantages. But what if our brain knows we're full, and we stuff ourselves with chocolate, ice cream or chips, and we feel guilty afterwards? Then it is very likely that our emotions are at play. It is not uncommon that we eat not because we are really hungry, but to compensate for certain emotions. And unfortunately, it is precisely very sweet, salty or fried foods that satisfy us best. Especially when we are stressed, bored, sad or lonely, or have slept too little.
Usually such phases are very long lasting until we find a way to break our behavior pattern.
But how do we do that?
The first step is to realize that we are stuck in a vicious circle and want to break out of it to finally feel comfortable in our bodies again.
After that, we first have to become aware of what triggers our unwanted behavior patterns, be it loneliness, lack of appreciation, love, stress or too little sleep. This second step can be very difficult, because it's not always easy when we have to admit to feelings we don't want or are ashamed of.
Next, a change must then take place so that the triggers no longer occur, or at least occur less. And if they do, we know how to recognize them and simply look for alternatives that distract us or soothe our emotions rather than reaching for dessert and chips.
If we are often bored, for example, we can take up a hobby. If our work stresses us out too much emotionally, we talk to our supervisor or try to find an alternative. If we get too few likes on Instagram, we delete the app and focus on our real friendships. If we feel lonely and true love has so far failed to materialize, we stop looking and focus on what else brings us joy.
But what if we still want something to snack on? Then there are alternatives! For example, homemade popcorn is a great salty option, as it is very light and filling.
And if you're craving sweets, choose small packs so you can better control your portion sizes.
Do you also want to reach your optimal weight, lose excess fat, and/or simply have more energy?
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Kevin Clement, Founder Eat better, not perfect.
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