This is a guest post by Lori Kennedy of WOW! Weight Loss, the nutrition program available at all WFCC clubs. Find out more at their website, or follow them on Twitter @woww8loss! If you’re interested in getting into a healthy eating groove, you can email Lori directly, too.
Do the following statements describe you?
- I prefer to eat in private, where no one else can see.
- I eat healthy in front of others but then indulge recklessly in private.
- I follow a healthy diet during the day, only to fall off the wagon at night.
- I sneak food secretly and eat it away from others.
If you can relate to any of the above statements then you may be engaging in closet eating. This “secret eating life” of yours sabotages your weight loss and nutrition goals, making it impossible to achieve the body that you want.
Before we dive into this topic, it’s important to approach yourself from a place of love and respect. Resist the urge to look at yourself as a failure as you strive to discard unhealthy eating habits.
Use the following 5 steps to curb your closet eating once and for all:
Step #1: Learn Your Triggers
Journal about the feelings you experience before, during and after an episode of closet eating. Was there a particular trigger that caused you to feel stressed, or angry, or helpless before the urge to eat in secrecy hit you?
Refer back to your journal after a handful of episodes and try to determine a pattern. This will allow you to prepare yourself with an exit plan before the next potential episode.
For example, if you find that your closet eating occurs mainly when your spouse goes out of town on business, then make plans to visit with friends rather than be alone at home with food.
Step #2: Log Every Calorie
Let’s face the facts. Just because no one sees you eat it, doesn’t mean that the calories don’t exist. The simple act of tallying each food item that you eat will force you to be more mindful of your eating habits.
Find your ideal calorie range by consulting your doctor, and be aware of how close you come to that range each day. Resist the urge to not log foods that are eaten in secrecy.
The point is to bring accountability to the situation, so be vigilant.
Step #3: Carry Healthy Snacks
When the urge to eat in secrecy hits you, it may be useful to allow yourself the snack, but change the script slightly by making it healthy and portion controlled.
Eat one of these snacks every few hours to prevent from becoming overly hungry, thus more susceptible to reckless eating.
Look below for a list of healthy, portion controlled snacks to incorporate into your diet.
Step #4: Don’t Stock Bad Food
Most cases of closet eating are said to occur in the comfort of your own home. Be proactive by not stocking your favorite indulgences in the kitchen.
When you have the urge to sneak a few bites of ice cream before bed, you’ll be unable to do so if there isn’t any ice cream to be found. Be careful not to fall into the trap of “buying it for the kids,” as this is a slippery slope.
No one in the family benefits from having junk food stocked in the house. Get it out.
Step #5: Exercise Regularly
How can exercising regularly help you overcome closet eating? It’s simple. When you are actively working towards a goal, and are supported, you’ll be less likely to self-sabotage.
What Can I Do Right Now?
My fitness plans are designed to get you to your desired weight loss goal quickly and efficiently. There’s accountability, encouragement and measurable results to keep you on track. If you’d like to see your weight loss goals become a reality then pick up the phone or shoot me an email.
Closet eating may be your way of dealing with the stress you have in your life, but you can change that. And I would love to help.
Call or email today to get started on a weight loss and nutrition program that will truly deliver the results you deserve.
Healthy Take Alongs
When the urge to indulge hits you, be prepared by carrying your own healthy snacks. Enjoy your healthy snack very slowly, then wait 20 minutes before deciding if you are full or still hungry. Try these healthy snacks:
- A small handful of raw almonds
- 1 small apple with a tsp and a half of almond butter
- 1/4 cup of hummus and a few carrot sticks
- 5 olives
- 1 cup unshelled edamame
- 2 ounces of sliced turkey breast
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt and 1/4 cup berries