When I stopped drinking, I stayed away from clubs and bars. When I wanted to stop spending so much money, I had to stay away from home decorating stores (my shopping weakness). Trying to stop any bad habit requires us to identify triggers and eliminate them. Identifying what triggers my overeating has been one of the most helpful realizations I’ve come to.
My two most frequent times of the day when I overeat are after I get back from taking my 7 year old to school, my husband goes to work, and the baby is down for a nap (about 10 am) and then at night when everyone but me is in bed (about 10 pm). After whirlwind mornings and busy evenings, when I am finally able to sit down and have a quiet moment to myself, I use food to relax. These are the most dangerous times and probably the two times of the day when I consume the majority of the day’s calories.
Another big trigger is when I am in the car after shopping or running errands and have some time to kill before moving on to the next thing. A quick trip through the drive thru for a drink can quickly turn into a drink and a 10 piece nugget or a 7 layer burrito.
And the last big trigger is when my husband and I are sitting down to watch TV together in the evenings. We don’t watch much TV thankfully, but we do have one or two shows that we DVR and watch when we have time. It’s during these times that I feel like I need something to continually snack on. This is when the mindless munching comes into play (chips, popcorn, etc…)
I am sure that there are some things that I haven’t identified yet, but these are three of the major danger zones that I’ve been able to identify. But at the risk of sounding like Jesse Jackson, identification is not the same as elimination.
I’ve had to put up some barriers to prevent me from pigging out during those times. I eat breakfast within an hour of waking up instead of waiting for alone time. And during that alone time, if I feel like I must have a snack, it has to be something small and healthy. At night, I need to stay in the kitchen if I’m going to eat (meaning no eating at the computer). Sitting alone at the kitchen table at night is not very enjoyable. I keep small snacks in my diaper bag or purse instead of hitting the drive through after errands; and I keep water on me at all times so I don’t feel the need to go through and get a drink (thus tempting me to get more). And as for the TV snacking with the husband…that’s still a weakness but I’m working on it. I think the key here is not going to be eliminating the snack, but changing what the snack is.
So figuring these out has been a small success in my world of weight loss. If I can keep identifying and getting rid of things like these one at a time, I’ll look like Kate Moss before you know it.