It's mid-afternoon. You’re not actually hungry, but you’re feeling a little bored, tired, maybe even frustrated or stressed. So you decide to munch something, but you want a healthy snack. An apple is a good choice, right?
Now suppose you eat an apple a day for a month, as a healthy snack to mask those unpleasant feelings. That seems innocent enough: Everyone knows an apple beats salty, crunchy fatty snacks any day.
Yet each apple supplies at least 150 calories. That’s an extra 150 calories a day, or 1050 extra calories per week, an extra 4200 calories a month. If nothing else changes, these extra calories will probably end up as fat. If it takes burning 3500 calories to lose a pound of fat….. You can see where I am going with this.
It’s helpful to remember that all foods, “healthy” or not, provide calories. If you are not losing the weight you want, you might cut back on snacks when you aren’t hungry (even healthy ones).
Better yet: Try exploring the stress that prompts you to snack in the first place.
Imagine receiving three boxes. Orange, Lavender and Green. Strange! There are thumping sounds coming from each one. It's as though somebody is trying to get out. Is it you?
- When you open the Orange box, out pops a tiny figure who says, "I overeat because I'm feeling bored around 4 p.m. sitting in my cube most afternoons."
- Next you open the Lavender box. Another tiny figure jumps out. "I want to overeat because I'm tired. I didn't get enough sleep last night."
- Then you open the Green box to release a tiny figure who says, "I want to overeat because I'm so frustrated by having to do the work of two people."
Bottom line: Examining the "because" part of overeating, can open the door to getting insights into the stress that prompted the snacking.
I would love to hear how you deal with those afternoon feelings that trigger snacking.