The following are really common mistakes that I come up against time after time.
I have made many of them myself and one or two I am still working on;
1) All Or Nothing
This is the one that almost everyone seems to struggle with.
The whole mentality of ‘I’m all in or I’m all out’.
I struggled with it myself, I was either ‘eating super-clean’ or I was eating everything in sight.
It is when you have a pizza and a few beers on a Friday night, decide that you’ve now ‘blown it’ and eat and drink rubbish all weekend, telling yourself you’ll ‘start again on Monday’.
The pizza and the beers alone probably would not have set you back that much, it’s the whole weekend of overeating that sabotages your progress and makes you feel like shit.
Remember, consistency is the key.
Consistency at 80% beats consistency at 100% half the time and 0% the other half!
2) Eating Mindlessly
We live in a time when we can be constantly distracted.
We can find ourselves eating because we have seen adverts, because we are bored, because of the time of day.
It is easy to forget what it feels like to be truly hungry and also to forget a lot of what we put in our mouths.
How easy is it to demolish large bags of Doritos in front of the TV?
Sit down at the table without phones, books, computers and tvs.
Wait until you are properly hungry and then eat slowly, tasting and chewing your food.
Appreciating how it tastes, how it smells, how it looks.
Notice how your hunger diminishes as you eat.
Often you will find that you don’t actually need the whole plateful, when you stop and take your time.
3) Emotional/Stress Eating
This is another common problem.
If we are bored or lonely, we feel a void and we look for something to fill it.
If we are stressed, we look for something to ‘take the edge off’, to make us feel better.
It is very easy to use food and drink for this.
Try taking up a hobby that you find relaxing if you are stressed, things like jigsaw puzzles can be very absorbing and take your mind off other things.
Try joining a group if you are lonely, I know things are very difficult at the moment, but there are loads of groups and activities that have moved online.
4) Good Or Bad Food
This one goes hand in hand with the All or Nothing mindset and leads to sabotage mode.
If you tell yourself certain foods are bad, then you are far more likely to sabotage yourself if you have them.
Know that you can have any food you want.
But, be aware of where you are in your life, what you have already eaten that day and what your goals are.
Then you can make an educated choice about whether you are going to eat that food now.
It is not a case of can’t have that food, but may be a case of won’t have that food now.
5) Cravings & Social Occasions
I did a blog on the STOPP technique back on 24th June.
This can be used very successfully to ‘surf the urge’ when it comes to cravings:
S = Stop and take a moment
T = Take a deep breath
O = Observe – what you are thinking and feeling
P = Pull back
P = Practice – doing something else instead.
With social occasions we often link our enjoyment to the food and drink we consume.
Try enjoying the event for the opportunity to spend time with people you know and love.
Try to remember how crap you feel the next day after you have overindulged at an event.
Remember as well, you can have whatever you want so there is no need to go mad and overeat.