Do you know why it’s so hard to stop overeating? It’s because most “plans” are actually diets and they rely on having enough willpower to not overeat. Unfortunately, not doing something is NOT an effective strategy. In this video, we’ll talk about what you can do instead of dieting, or sitting on your hands, that can diminish your desire to overeat.
Think about the last time you decided to change the way you eat. I bet you created a list of what you would and wouldn’t do and maybe even had some thoughts about staying strong or following a bunch of rules. Your plan likely relied on having enough willpower to execute it.
Here’s the thing about willpower. It doesn’t work. Because no matter how strong or determined you are, willpower is in limited supply. Eventually, we always run out. Think about the times when your willpower is spent. When you’re tired or have had a long day. When you’re stressed or facing a million items on your to-do list at once.
Aren’t these also the times when overeating tends to show up? Exactly.
Plans that are based on willpower tend to fail when we need that willpower the most and living on a plan that requires constant willpower just isn’t any fun.
Diets don’t work either. Diets focus on what to eat, they don’t address the reasons you want to overeat in the first place – the situations, the emotions, or the stress that is triggering your cravings.
The bottom line: you don’t have a willpower problem and you probably don’t need more nutrition information to be successful. If you’ve got a pattern of overeating, what you need to be successful is a plan for what you are going to do instead of reaching for something to eat. There’s a reason you’re overeating, and in the future, when that situation arises, what is your new plan going to be? What will you do instead of reaching for something to eat?
This is your million-dollar question, and asking it can change everything.
What will you do instead? Will you check-in and ask yourself what’s going on that isn’t physical hunger? Will you take a short break and go for a walk? Will you honor your exhaustion and just go to bed? Take a look at what you know about the reason you’re overeating and create a strategy for what to do instead.
Do it now. Pick one situation when you tend to overeat and write down the reasons you might be overeating.
Now come up with a few things you could try in that situation instead of overeating. Write them down. You might write something like:
In the afternoon when I start feeling tired and irritable, instead of going to the kitchen between projects, I’m going to step outside for five minutes and breathe some fresh air.
Be creative. Don’t make your plan too big, and make sure the strategy you come up with actually fits your needs and the situation you’ll be facing.
Here’s something that might surprise you. The key here is to try something different – to begin thinking about alternatives to reaching for something to eat. Don’t be discouraged or feel like you’ve failed if your Instead Strategy doesn’t work! That’s to be expected some of the time and you can use these failures to stop overeating. I’ll explain it all in my next video.
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