Reasons for weight gain
For some it’s not getting enough exercise or doing enough activity, for others it’s a over reliance on processed foods or excessive portion sizes (or many more factors). However, through my experience, a lot of people gain weight due to constant grazing and snacking. Snacking, in fairness gets a bad rap, when done correctly snacking is a great tool to aid weight loss and fuel your day. Boredom eating on the other hand is a different story.
However, as with everything else in nutrition, people feel the need to label things as good or bad with no in-between. One thing people don’t mention is context. Snacking in the right context (right type of food, amounts and time correctly) is a great tool to stave off hunger or fuel your upcoming day/ activity. Conversely, bad snacks (wrong type of food, bad portion control and bad timing) undoubtedly contributes to weight gain. Boredom eating is a common reason why people tend to overdo snacks. In light of Covid-19 boredom snacking is going to be even harder to resist!
Being a boredom eater in isolation is a recipe for weight gain and it’s going to derail your weight loss pretty swiftly. How often do you walk into the kitchen, open the cupboards/fridge and pull out some kind of snack and eat it without being hungry at all?
This isn’t the end of the world once in a while, if it’s become a habit this two part series should help!
Strategies to overcome boredom eating
There are a myriad of strategies you can use to overcome boredom eating/needless snacking, but here’s the most important strategy:
Make the unconscious act of snacking conscious
Example: Driving to work, how often do you think about driving to work? Generally you don’t, you’re on autopilot and it’s a route you’ve taken hundreds if not thousands of times. This makes it an ingrained pathway in your brain.
There is a old saying in neuroscience “neurons that fire together wire together” which basically means the more you perform a certain act or habit, the stronger that pathway becomes in the brain (making it easier and or more likely to occur). This is good when are in good habits such as eating breakfast or exercise, but not so good when we are in bad habits such as boredom eating.
To make our snacking a conscious act, we are going to do a snack diary. Doing so is simple, simply write down the day, the
time, the snack, hunger levels at that time, and the timing of the last thing you consumed. You don’t need to alter your eating
habits to do this, eat normally as you would, more honest you are the better.
That’s all for today, we’ll be back with part two this week where we delve in and unpick methods overcoming needless snacking!