If you’re having trouble dealing with constant “Lockdown Snacking”, I’ve got 5 tools to help you.
Mastering your hunger and appetite is the key to staying in control.
1) Rate Your Hunger on a Scale of 1-10:
- Before each meal, consider how hungry you actually are.
- A score of 1 being NOT hungry at all and a score of 10 being the hungriest you’ve EVER been.
- If you’re trying to lose weight, you’ll need to let yourself get a little bit hungry from time to time. This helps with maintaining your weight too.
- See if you can push back your meal until you’re at a 7, 8 or 9 out of 10.
2) Need, Want, or Should:
- Before each meal, identify why you’re wanting to eat.
- Do you NEED to eat? (You physically require food.)
- Do you WANT to eat? (You desire the food because it will taste good.)
- Do you feel like you SHOULD be eating? (You usually eat around this time or everyone else is eating so you feel like you should too.)
- Ideally, you should only be eating when you physically need to eat. However, if you do catch yourself eating because you want to or feel like you should, then see if you can eat smaller portions than normal.
- You can find out more about need / want / should here.
3) Eat Slowly and Mindfully:
- It takes about 20 minutes from the start of your meal for your brain to send out satiety signals and hormones that indicate you are getting full and no longer need to eat.
- If you eat too quickly, then you will completely miss these signals and likely overeat.
- Research shows that people who eat slowly tend to be less overweight, more satisfied after eating, have fewer cravings, eat less frequently, and have fewer digestion problems.
- Try and slow down using some of the tips listed here.
4) Stop at “80% Full”:
- Eating until you’re “80% full” goes hand in hand with eating slowly.
- It’s that sweet spot between being hungry and being full. It’s when you simply no longer feel the need to eat.
- 80% Full is not actually a specific number, it’s an intention. A conscious effort while eating (or while serving your food) to not overeat.
- The goal is to avoid ending up “stuffed” and therefore eating too much.
- Being mindful of how much you eat and whether you are still actually hungry before taking the next bite of food is a very useful tool in losing fat as well as effortlessly maintaining a healthy weight.
- You can read more about 80% full here.
5) Less Snacking:
- Most people never let themselves get truly hungry anymore because they always have a snack to fill that gap.
- When you always have the option to snack, the quality of your meals becomes less important because if they don’t fill you up and keep you satisfied you can always just grab another snack to keep you going.
- That’s a great modern-world luxury to have, but it also brings a modern-world problem: Overeating and unwanted weight gain.
- It’s a myth that eating frequently increases your metabolism (it doesn’t). Instead, it’s more likely to cause you to constantly think about food and make it easy to eat too much too often.
- Filling up on minimally processed, nutrient-dense foods (especially protein and vegetables) is a great way to stay fuller for longer after your meals and avoid the need to snack.
- Experiment with deliberately eating fewer snacks or even no snacking at all to see how that goes.
- Read more about “Here’s why you’re always hungry“.
I hope that you find at least one of these tools helpful!