How often do you get home from work, sort your life out, walk the dog, make dinner, put the kids to bed, pop the washing on and finally collapse on the sofa in front of the new series of Married at First Sight, only to find yourself reaching for the box of Lindt balls...
and then going back for more
backwards and forwards between the kitchen cupboards, fridge and sofa.
Unable to stop yourself
Then you go to bed asking yourself the same question you always end the night with...]
"Why did I do that... why can't I control myself?"
If that's you, here's 3 steps you can take to move past the evening snack fest and get your nutrition back on track!
1) Figure out what need you're trying to fulfill with food
Chances are, this evening overeating isn't happening for no reason and you have an unfulfilled need that you're attempting to meet with food.
What is that need?
Work that out and you can find a more appropriate solution than just trying to numb the pain of the unfulfilled need with food.
Some of the common unmet needs are:
Stress (maybe you've had a stressful day at work?)
Tiredness due to lack of physical or cognitive rest
Hunger (if you're not eating enough during the day, this is covered in more detail below!)
None of these problems can be solved by food!
2) Make sure you're eating enough during the day!
You might have heard this one before, but I'm going to say it again!! If you're getting to the end of the day and you're hungry because you're trying to exist on the minimum number of calories possible, it's no wonder you're finding yourself raiding the chocolate stash.
Here's how to ensure you're setting yourself up for success in the evenings:
Make sure your meals contain enough calories. If you're eating like a sparrow during the day in an attempt to diet aggressively or save calories for the evening or weekend, stop it. Eat a reasonable sized breakfast and lunch containing a good balance of protein, starchy carbohydrates, fat, fruit and veg.
Bulk your meals out with high volume ingredients like fruit, veg, beans and legumes to make them physically larger and more filling.
Include a variety of different tastes and textures to help increase meal satisfaction.
Make your meals satisfying by including foods you actually like! Don't just eat chicken, rice and lettuce because you think it's what you 'should' be eating if you're on a diet.
3) Plan to have some pudding
Do you allow yourself space to eat any of these foods you're overeating in the evening? If you don't, you might find it helpful to plan to eat a 'proper' pudding in the evening, so that you have something tasty to look forward to once you've completed your day.
My suggestion, if you're looking to keep dessert in line with fat loss goals is to follow the FMT method for designing your dessert:
F = pick some FRUIT to add food volume to your dessert
M = Add something MOIST, like yoghurt, frozen yoghurt or ice cream. This adds some food volume and a different texture
T = Choose a bit of something TASTY, like chocolate, cake or your favourite pudding to make your dessert really satisfying!
In practice, this might looks like:
F = Fresh or frozen cherries and strawberries
M = Vanilla ice cream
T = A brownie bite and a drizzle of chocolate sauce
And if you feel like you need more help tackling overeating, please do just drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more help!